Tennessee Williams is a play in which the contrast between characters – Amanda and Laura – exaggerate one another’s personalities.
This is shown throughout on many different occasions and in many different ways. Amanda and Laura are portrayed as social opposites. Although in despite of this – almost never arise in a heated argument due to Laurel’s peacemaker role. Amanda is the typical Southern Belle, constantly reminiscing about her glory days when she once entertained seventeen gentleman callers.Many of whom went on to become wealthy and successful: Champ Laughlin who became vice-president; Hadley Stevenson who invested thousands in bonds and Fiftieth- The Wolf of Wall Street.
She ended up marrying her children’s father Mr. Winnfield because of his charm. He left many years before which has evidently affected Amanda greatly, forcing her to put on a false sense of satisfaction. Her life is devoted to her children who she adapts her lifestyle to accommodate. However she does not seem to comprehend that her over confident persona is driving her eldest son Tom away.The pair often argue which results in him leaving – since this is a memory play from Tom’s perspective we do not find out how Amanda copes with her loss. Her other child, Laura -although not appreciating her mother’s actions at times- never argues with her mother.
Laurel’s personality I hugely affected by her limp making her a very shy, calm nature. Unlike her mother, Laura is not confident In herself and suffers from low self esteem. She has also never had a gentleman caller which shocks Amanda as she had so many at Laurel’s age, but she admits to liking a boy- once.