A Probe into the Fate of Women in the Evolution of Society—A Brief Analysis of Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie

Zhang Tiehu


Tennessee Williams is the most famous southern American playwright in twentieth century (Adler, 1994). He is known for his strong southern cultural background, especially southern women educated in a traditional gentlewoman style. The southern women of Tennessee believed that their traditional culture was the essence of human civilization and therefore of considerable value. However, such values could not be recognized in the modern industrial society. Most of these women were sensitive and tender, suffering from industrialized society, full of all sorts of evils, and they had turned to traditional culture to seek mental peace and shelter for the moment, so they again became a lonely and frustrated. While they refused to change their cultural identity, they had to live in a modern, industrialized society that did not belong to them. Therefore, they were regarded as people living in the cultural gap, and eventually became the victims of the confrontation between traditional southern culture and modern industrial culture. As one of the most contradictory and dramatic characters in the play, Amanda is also one of the unique images of women in American drama. As Tennessee said when introducing the characters in the play, “the portrayal of Amanda is by no means derived from a specific archetype”.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v8n3p153


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