The Glass Menagerie
How we cite our quotes:
"That's right, now that you've had us all make such fools of ourselves. The effort, the preparations, all the expense! The new floor lamp, the rug, the clothes for Laura! All for what? To entertain some other girl's fiancé! Go to the movies, go! Don't think about us, an unmarried sister who's crippled and has no job! Don't let anything interfere with your selfish pleasure! Just go, go, go-to the movies!" (7.319, Amanda).
Amanda believes that being a member of a family generates certain obligations.
Tom’s closing speech is timed with what is happening inside the house. We see, as though through soundproof glass, that Amanda appears to be making a comforting speech to Laura, who is huddled upon the sofa. Now that we cannot hear the mother’s speech, she lifts her head to smile at her mother. Amanda’s gestures are slow and graceful, almost dance-like, as she comforts her daughter. At the end of the speech she glances a moment at the father’s picture—then withdraws through the portieres. At the close of Tom’s speech, Laura blows out the candles, ending the play.
Although Amanda often nags and bother her children, her very maternal instincts take on a positive light in the direst of circumstances
"I didn't go to the moon - I went much further-for time is the longest distance between two poles. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left St. Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space." (7.321, Tom).
Tom recognizes that he is like his father.
"Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger-anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura--and so, goodbye… (7.321, Tom).
Tom is unable to relieve the guilt of having abandoned his sister.