The Glass Menagerie

In what ways is Tom like his father?

Amanda mentions how Tom does not take pride in his appearance like his father did.

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Amanda's relationship with Tom is difficult. Tom longs to be free - like his father - to abandon Amanda and Laura and set off into the world. He has stayed because of his responsibility for them, but his mother's nagging and his frail sister's idiosyncrasies make the apartment a depressing and oppressive place. Tom also hates his job. His only escape comes from his frequent visits to the movies, but his nightly disappearances anger and baffle Amanda. He fights with Amanda all the time, and the situation at home grows more unbearable.

Amanda, sensing that Tom wants to leave, tries to make a deal with him. If Tom and Amanda can find a husband for Laura, a man who can take care of her, then Tom will be free of his responsibility to them. Amanda asks Tom to bring home gentlemen callers to meet Laura. Tom brings home Jim O'Connor, a fellow employee at the warehouse. He is an outgoing and enthusiastic man on whom Laura had a terrible crush in high school. Jim chats with Laura, growing increasingly flirtatious, until he finally kisses her. Then he admits that he has a fiancé and cannot call again. For fragile Laura, the news is devastating.

Amanda is furious, and after Jim leaves she accuses Tom of playing a cruel joke on them. Amanda and Tom have one final fight, and not long afterward Tom leaves for good. In his closing monologue, he admits that he cannot escape the memory of his sister. Though he abandoned her years ago, Laura still haunts him.


Tom thinks of his father as an escape artist, but Amanda's feeling toward him is ambiguous. She doesn't want Tom to become like his father, and yet she keeps his picture hanging prominently, sixteen years after he abandoned them for good.


he wants to run away from his problems. He tries to escape through drinking and movies
just like his father