42 thoughts on “Discussion 9

  1. Amanda is a loving, caring, and sometimes over bearing mother. I think that Amanda is portrayed based on the actresses experiences as a parent and how they interpreted Amanda’s character. Watching multiple segments of The Glass Menagerie the actresses portraying Amanda are different in their tone and approach. I found that I liked Katharine Hepburn performance of Amanda the most. Katharine seems to fit the part naturally, her acting ability to bring life to Amanda is unlike the others. She is able to captivate the audience with her performance.

    1. i agree she did a amazing job portraying this character, that motherly instinct that females have must have helped her play the role of a mother. She was overbearing but she was loving also.

      1. I also enjoyed the actress who played the character Amanda. She allowed me to put a face to the character. It is apparent that Amanda loves her children very much, it is a pity that she hinders them by being so overbearing. The actress does a great job portraying the good and bad of the character.

        1. I’d like to see all of you aiming at more specific descriptions and language. What does it mean that she brings the character to life, and how does she captivate? If all women have a mothering instinct, then wouldn’t any woman be just as amazing at portraying Amanda’s motherhood? What does it mean to act smoothly? What makes her portrayal great? Bring these statements more into focus and explore what they mean.

  2. After watching some of the youtube videos of Amanda I found that I liked the rendition by Rosina Reynolds the best. She let her slightly flighty ways shine through very well. The Katharine Hepburn version was also very good. Amanda seems to be a mother that is living her life through her children. She is reliant on her son and pushes her daughter to be the same as she was and is. She is a loving mother but all to often meddling at the same time. Most of the interpretations of her seem to match the text fairly well. The way that I read the scene on the balcony with Tom telling Amanda of the gentlemen caller Amanda and Tom seemed more tense and colder to each other than the Katherine Hepburn performance portrayed. I did find it odd that many of the renditions did not give Amanda a southern accent and that some portrayed her as heavier set when it states how frail she is in the text.

    1. Why did you find it odd that “many of the renditions did not give Amanda a southern accent?” I may have missed it in the text, but does it say somewhere that she is supposed to have one? I did find it odd to see some portrayals of her in a heavier set as well though.

      1. She is a southern belle, her gentleman callers were all planters, southern hospitality. While she is talking to Jim she uses a heavy accent to say some words and really plays up the southern belle persona.

        You are right about it being odd that she would be portrayed as heavy set since they call her a little woman and having a slight person in the character description at the beginning of the play.

          1. I wonder what difference the frail stature versus heavy set actress makes to you. What is the role of her frailty in the play? What happens if she is not physically frail? The southern identity is a main feature of Amanda’s character as well. But what if the play were set differently? How changed would it be? How could a change in setting be accommodated through other changes leaving something of the play’s core intact?

  3. I feel that there are a great many interpretations of Amanda that paint her as well meaning but selfish, she wants what’s best for her children and at the same time sabotages them so they remain dependent on her. In a majority of the interpretations she’s almost childish and seems very disconnected from reality, especially in her denial that her daughter is crippled. all in all I don’t have any particular preference for any rendition of her as all of them are distinctly unlikable.

      1. In what ways does Amanda sabotage her children? What are some of the other ways that light is shed on Laura’s disability?

  4. I’m not entirely fond of any of the different portrayals of Amanda in particular. If I were to choose one that could be more “enjoyable” than another, it would be the version with Katharine Hepburn, but not because of her performance; it is Sam Waterston’s interpretation of Tom that I actually enjoyed. The way Amanda is described in the casebook is basically how I’d say she is portrayed in these different clips. The way the her character is described in the text pretty much matches up with how her character is acted out, but with each actor’s own interpretations added in.

    1. Sam Waterston did do an excellent job in portraying Tom and just like you, I preferred the versions with Katharine Hepburn playing the role of Amanda. I felt the same way about her after reading the casebook as well but I think Katharine really brought the character to life through her enthusiasm.

      1. I really enjoyed Toms character in this version as well. I kind of gained a liking for Tom and found myself no longer liking Amanda at all.

        1. What are the details of these actors’ own interpretations? Is it possible to like Amanda and like Tom? I wonder what it is in the performance of Tom that made him different to you than in the play?

  5. Sometimes the voice in a text is more powerful than in theater, and I think the characteristics of Amanda are more prominant in the text version of the play. All her emotions of frustration and happiness can be seen in the words she tells of her opinon (that isn’t always welcome) or her recollections of her youth. However for this, I did watch a 1950’s version of Menagerie then a more modern Broadway clip, and both have similarties in Amanda’s flair and loudness of voice that Tom always looks back upon. Since a mother is one of the biggest woman figures in a son’s life, it is understandable that he will remember his mother’s lectures and various, loud opinions on what happens with Laura and Jim that always has a touch of desperation in her actions at wanting to see her only daughter settled. Amanda is flawed in her daughter’s future when I think she is jealous of not getting the chance her daughter could get at a successful life. I honestly love Katharine Hepburn’s rendition of Amanda because her accent isn’t too southern to sound forced and her sight is always focused on who she is talking to to show her tenciaty and determination at showing what she wants. The more modern versions felt rushed and more caught up in their monologues instead of who is near them like Hepburn did. I honestly think the older versions of plays are more spot on in renacting than modern ones, probably because they didn’t have the “time is money” feel that newer plays seemed to have. They felt more in tune with the plays, like more time was put into acting and reacting the scenes until the feel was just right for the play.

    1. I think that your observations were interesting. I am the opposite as you! I think the videos were more helpful to gain a better understanding of all of the Characters! I enjoyed the modern versions just because I felt as if I could relate better.

    2. I feel that the text was also stronger than watching the acting. I feel like I connected with the text and how the characters may feel. But the actors in the short versions did a good job of protraying the qualities of Amandas characters. She only wants the bestfor her childrenand may show it in the wrong way at times but you can surely tell she loves them.

      1. Since you are talking about the difference between experiencing the play as a text or performed here, I would bring attention to the way the play is self-consciously a play. How do the movie renditions represent the unusual stage directions?

  6. Amanda’s character is a loving, caring mother with a controlling personality. The first episode I watched was a clip between Tom and Amanda. Amanda’s character goes through rapid mood changes throughout this clip. She starts by nagging Tom about smoking cigarettes and finding his sister a nice young man. Her tone changed from nagging mom to a teasing mood when they watch the moon. Amanda is overwhelmed with joy when learning about the “nice young man” Tom has found for her daughter, she becomes a giddy schoolgirl. Her mood changes to anxiety and fury when learning the boy will be dining with them the next night. I thought the actress did a great job portraying Amanda; her body language and facial expressions went well with the character’s mood changes. This was my favorite interpretation of Amanda.
    In the second YouTube clip I watched is between Amanda and Laura. Amanda’s character is much older in this version; her hair is brown instead of blonde. Amanda’s character is a motherly figure; she is intently listening to Laura’s recap of her date. Amanda’s character is proper, attentive, strict and serious in this interpretation.
    I enjoyed watching the clips over reading the casebook. It is easier for me to get into the story when I can put a face to the characters. It helps to hear the change tones in order to understand the mood of the play.

    1. I found it hard to get into the clips because I could not give the characters a consistent personality. Every clip portrayed them differently, not even slightly different either as some where drastically different. I agree with your depiction of Amanda, I feel that her controlling personality all too often wins over loving with Tom and with Laura she coddles too often. She lacks a good balance with her children.

      1. Good specific descriptions going on here. Using the word mood is an interesting way to get at the difference between watching and reading a play. I think the mood is likely what account for the drastically different depictions in the clips. These posts also bring up the idea of clips versus wholes and whether a play is the kind of thing that can be broken into pieces and retain its quality.

  7. I was able to watch a little part of one of the youtube films of “Amanda Glass Menagerie.” From the first couple minutes of the film, Amanda seemed very loving and caring to her son Tom, but controlling of her son but in a pleasurable way. She only wants the best for both of her children and a loving, caring man for her daughter. She was excited for a guy to go to the house and meet them all, but she was also worried about getting things done in the house. When she got worried is when she got bossy and controlling. I prefer watching the “nice” side of her acting because she likes to joke around, but when she gets to her other side, she gets very demanding.

    1. It would be interesting to follow through with this two-Amandas theory, and examine the play for what these two sides represent, or where they originate, or what they tell us about Amanda’s past or perhaps about Tom actually, since the whole play is supposed to be from his perspective!

  8. Amanda’s character is portrayed by Katherine Hepburn, I believe that she does a fantastic job at playing the part. It seems as though she is just acting as her natural self. The character Amanda is strong, and while she is played by a strong woman, she is portrayed as almost too strong. She is overly controlling of her son Tom’s life. While her intentions are good they tend to be too overbearing and unnecessary. I absolutely love Katherine Hepburn, and think she is such a fantastic actress. She played the character of Amanda with such grace and fluidity that one wouldn’t even know she was out of character.

      1. Grace and fluidity are definitely more specific words. Can you buttress them with examples? Did Amanda seem graceful and fluid to you as a character when you read?

  9. after watching the videos my opinion of Amanda is that shes a very loving mother but also a little controlling of her son, shes a strong lady with her own attitude and the actor that played her Katherine Hepburn fit the role perfectly. Everyone has a certain way they raise their kids and that seemed to be her way.

    1. Mrs. Hepburn did a good job portraying that single mother who wanted so much for her children’s happiness and success. You could really tell that she had a hard time not having control of Tom just like she didn’t with his father. She was trying so hard to make him a better man but in turn pushed him farther.

      1. Both of you hint at a criticism but also seem like you want to be understanding. So is that how the author intends you to feel about Amanda, do you think? How is this mixed message achieved? What is Tom’s role in the portrayal of their relationship?

  10. I almost wish I searched in youtube before I read the play in the text. I seem to gather more of the tone and information by watching and listening to a scene compared to reading the text. I enjoyed one of the full versions and I watched several of the short scenes. I really enjoyed seeing Amanda come to life in the various plays that are made. It was interesting seeing the persona of Amanda and how she carries herself. The voice that Katherine Hepburn was a little more feisty then I imagined in one of the videos uploaded. Amanda wants the best for her children and takes her role of being a single mother very seriously. In the text I pictured Amanda to be a little bit older then what was portrayed in the video that I watched. I thought that the acting was fabulous but Amanda’s character got very annoying at some points. I didn’t like how she wanted to control her sons choices instead of guiding him. It was also interesting to see her freak out about the way the house looked when Tom let her know that the man was going to be dining with them in the next night. I do the same thing! I like my house to be spotless when people come over so, in a sense I sympathized with Amanda’s stress about having company over.


    1. I got the same feeling when I viewed this clip. I enjoyed the actors ability to go from a sweet southern mother to a crazy mess of a lady when she realized she didn’t have enough time. I thought the age was appropriate and liked the actors fiestiness as well. Great clip!

      1. Feisty is another good specific word (but it does not follow the old saying i before e…, unfortunately). If Amanda did not come across as feisty to you in the play, what other word would you have used to describe her? Is it Hepburn who is feisty then? Or is there some conscious effort in the directing or acting to make Amanda more feisty? What is the effect of that?

  11. Amanda is a very protective mother. I really enjoyed reading but also watching different scenes from the play. I like how the different productions portrayed a slightly different display of Amanda. But at the same time she is still presented as a strong mother who wants what is best for her family. All her stress and harshness are because she is so devoted to trying to push her children to be their best. I enjoyed the production with Katherine Hepburn in it the best although I didnt watch the full movie, YouTube has the entire 1 hour, 40 minutes!

    1. I would ask you to examine this statement further: All her stress and harshness are because she is so devoted to…
      What other factors are involved in her stress and harshness? Did she herself do her best? What are the most basic concerns she has for her kids?

  12. After watching multiple different scenes of actresses portraying Amanda from “The Glass Menagerie” I discovered that I liked Katharine Hepburn the best. She seemed to convey Amanda’s personality the way I envisioned her to be. After reading the play I found that I didn’t really care for Amanda’s character. She seemed to be overbearing and trying to relive her glory days through Laura especially when she retrieved the old dress from the trunk when Tom brought Jim over for dinner. However, once I watched a few of the scenes on Youtube I came to realize that regardless of the fact that she was overbearing, she actually did love her children and want the best for them. My favorite scene was when she is on the stairs with Tom making a wish on the moon and then they start talking about the gentleman caller. She seems almost giddy like. She gets all excited that Laura might actually find a good man. Overall I really did like this play even though it was extremely long but I did not like how it ended. Secretly I was hoping that Jim and Laura would end up together so that she could leave her mother.

    1. I wonder why the love she had for her children didn’t really come through for you when you read the play? Is it not as prominent in the text? Did the director of the movie make Amanda more sympathetic than she is in the play or is the difference in your experience of the two different media?

  13. i agree she did a amazing job portraying this character, that motherly instinct that females have must have helped her play the role of a mother. She was overbearing but she was loving also.

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