The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a big long monologue.
"I know so well what becomes of unmarried woman who aren't prepared to occupy a position. I've seen such pitiful cases in the South - barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister's husband or brother's wife! - stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room - encouraged by one in-law to visit another - little birdlike women without any nest - eating the crust of humility all their life!
Is that the future that we've mapped out for ourselves? I swear it's the only alternative I can think of! [She pauses.] It isn't a very pleasant alternative, is it? [She pauses again.] Of course - some girls do marry." (2.34, Amanda).
Amanda uses the gender roles of her own time to prescribe certain goals and desires for her daughter.
"Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man. [She gets up with a spark of revival.] Sister, that's what you'll do!" (2.46, Amanda.)
Amanda gets her thoughts on gender roles from observing the outside world.
"...she conducted a vigorous campaign on the telephone, roping in the subscribers to one of those magazines for matrons called The Homemaker’s Companion, the type of journal that features the serialized sublimations of ladies of letters who think in terms of delicate cuplike breasts, slim, tapering waists, rich, creamy thighs, eyes like wood smoke in autumn, fingers that soothe and caress like strains of music, bodies as powerful as Etruscan sculpture." (3.1, Tom).
Amanda’s work is rooted in the same gender roles that fuel her goals for her daughter.