Gender Roles In The Glass Menagerie

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Trophies are not always made of gold, or even placed on a high pedestal. That’s right, housewives can be trophies as well (at least, that’s what men thought during the early 20th century). Unless they wore an apron, had food in hand, and maintained an hourglass figure, society forced women to believe that this was the only way the could be housewives, and deserved to be married to a husband. Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie featured Amanda Wingfield, a housewife that is unfortunately a victim of societal pressures. As showcased by Amanda’s regimented beliefs, The Glass Menagerie demonstrates how society’s gender roles objectify women. The mother and widow of the play, Mrs. Wingfield is no pushover, yet her parenting is a product of gender roles preset by society . The first scene of the play features her at the dinner table nagging the narrator, Tom, to not “push with his fingers...And chew — chew!...A well cooked meal has lots of delicate flavors…show more content…
Amanda Wingfield is an integral component of understanding why this occurred. The Glass Menagerie placed a large emphasis on Amanda’s role in order to exemplify the role women were forced to fill before the 1960s. Their expectations to be perfectly fit, multi-talented, and obedient were too much to handle. Were straight, married men ever held to these expectations? Never. Once their muddy shoes step into the house, they did not have to lift a finger and their wife was at their every command. Their vulnerable egos did not let their wives get the upper grip, and yet they came in all shapes and sizes, they are allowed to be rude, and they could work at some simple, low-paying job and nobody at the time would ever look down upon them. If man could also bear woman’s societal pressures, perhaps equal rights would be obtained much faster, and a larger diversity of households would exist amongst the

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