The Glass Menagerie Tom's Entrapment The Glass Menagerie is a play written by Tennessee Williams. It was written in 1944 and deals with the family dynamics, delusions, and personalities of the Wingfields, a single-parent family struggling to make it in the 1920s.
The characters in the play include Amanda Wingfield (the mother), Laura Wingfield (her daughter), Tom Wingfield (her son), and Jim O'Connor (a gentleman caller). The play is based inside an urban apartment home in St. Louis. The family is struggling to survive and Tom is the Wingfield's only means of support.
Amanda, Tom's mother, is a very annoying and talkative woman. She constantly tells stories of better times and tries to encourage her kids to do what she wants them to do. This usually turns out to be more bossing around, complaining, and crying over things than positive motherly influences. Amanda expects a lot from her kids, but is more demanding of Tom.
She puts the duty of the husband in Tom's hands by expecting him to work to provide the needed income for the family's bills and expenses, but then she treats him like a little child who must be cared for constantly.
Tom's sister Laura had a very harsh illness as a young child, which has left her crippled. She has a hard time walking and has become very self-conscious over the handicap. She has worries of someday becoming an old maid, but doesn't put forth any effort in preventing this. Laura spends most of her day listening to old records on her mother's victrola while she plays with her favorite little glass ornament collection. Her mother calls this collection her Glass Menagerie. Laura's behavior is most unnatural because of her age; she's older than Tom and should be planning some sort of future for herself.