The Characters of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls Essay

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The Characters of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls

For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls is Christopher Durang's hilarious 1994 parody of The Glass Menagerie, a 1945 play by Tennessee Williams. In both plays, the main characters must deal with several serious problems, including isolation, fear of the outside world, and the need for understanding. Whereas the characters in The Glass Menagerie handle their problems in a relatively serious manner, those in For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls take a more farcical approach. For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls offers an alternate view of the situations in The Glass Menagerie, and it comments on how the American society has changed since the 1940s. Durang's parody accomplishes its humor by
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Not knowing what to wish for is certainly more reasonable than wishing for swizzle sticks.

Because Lawrence is so much more annoying than Laura and because Durang's Amanda thinks more about her future than her past, it is easier to sympathize with Amanda in For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls than in The Glass Menagerie. Williams' Amanda lives her life in the past&emdash;a time when she had the constant attention of gentlemen callers; however, in Durang's version of the tale, Amanda focuses on the future. Her main goal is to get rid of her annoying son, Lawrence, so she can have a life of her own. She wants Lawrence to "find a wife, or a job, or a doctor. Or consider euthanasia" (1946). In The Glass Menagerie, Amanda escapes from the troubles of her life by reminiscing of her blissful youth; however, in For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, she realizes her life is miserable&emdash;and she is not afraid to say so. In one scene, Amanda tells Lawrence, "Don't make jokes, Lawrence. Your asthma. Your eczema. My life" (1947), and "I'm not bitter, dear, it's just that I hate my life" (1939). If Lawrence would leave, Amanda says, "I'd feel free to start to live again. I'd join Parents Without Partners, I'd go to dinner dances, I'd have a life again" (1939). Lawrence's brother, Tom, also desperately wants to have a life outside the

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