Tom feels sympathy for his sister Laura, and wants to help her break out of her shell. He invites his friend for dinner to help achieve this. But Tom also feels a great deal of anger at his mother, and her neurotic, melodramatic behavior, as well as her control and possessiveness, make Tom's life unbearable. He can't wait to leave home to break free of his mother, but leaving laura alone would make him feel guilty, since he knows that without him Laura would sink even deeper into her loneliness. Tom struggles with a sense of responsibility for his sister, which suggests he also feels responsible for Amanda, his mother, but his anger at Amanda prevents him from realizing this.