In The Glass Menagerie what does Amanda ask Tom to do?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In scene 4 of the play The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield asks her son, Tom, to look in his workplace (the warehouse) for a potential beau for her socially awkward daughter, Laura. 

There is a lot of background to this. Amanda, who was left by her husband years ago, has lived with her son and daughter in a small apartment. While Tom does what he can at the warehouse to support his mother and sister, he is also very frustrated at his current situation.

Amanda is equally frustrated. Being an naturally eccentric woman who still hangs on to her Southern belle past, she looks up to her children only to realize, slowly, that none of the two has amounted to much. Both of her children seem to be stunted and unable to grow into productive adults. Tom works at the warehouse but is restless, unhappy, and drinks a lot. Laura stays home all day playing old records in her phonograph and tending to her glass menagerie.

Amanda is concerned mostly about Laura and her inability to go out into the world. Moreover, who, but a husband, could take care of Laura? Amanda is an older woman. The only other option would be Tom. Is he up for that task? 

Regardless of the fact that she is asking Tom to find someone for Laura, Amanda still has specific requirements:

AMANDA: Find out one that's clean-living - doesn't drink and - ask him out for sister!

TOM: What?

AMANDA: For sister! To meet! Get acquainted.

Tom is aggravated by the idea but manages to get Jim to visit the house. Jim's visit will be the pivotal part of the play where truths are finally told, and Tom's destiny is decided for good. 

Read the study guide:
The Glass Menagerie

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