Tom Wingfield, Laura’s brother is the narrator of the events of the play from memory. Amanda’s husband is described as “a telephone man who fell in love with long distance”, who had deserted his family when Tom and Laura were children.
Amanda had to fend for her family al alone and therefore suffers a withdrawal from reality. Laura has physical handicap, walks with a limp and wore braces to high school. Therefore this has made her frightfully shy, to the extent that the outside world scares her. She finds solace and is very comfortable with her collection of glass figurines and enjoys her father’s old Victrola Phonograph Records.
Tom worked in a shoe warehouse but was a “selfish dreamer” who wasted a lot of time on movies, alcohol and reading novels. The atmosphere at home was quite strained as there were quarrels and arguments that took place very often.
Each of Tennessee Williams characters have their own goals that they want to achieve. Amanda is looking forward to Laura finishing High School and taking up a job, but her hopes are sadly dashed to the ground when she finds hat Laura has stopped going to school because of her terrible shyness.
Amanda is extremely disappointed but resolves once again to find a suitable match for her daughter Laura before she becomes like one of those “barely tolerated spinsters”. So she puts Tom in charge of bringing in a good bridegroom for her. Tom brings in Jim O’Connor who happens to be the very boy that Laura secretly loved in High School. Laura tries her best to overcome her shyness and Jim helps her a lot.
Just as she feels very comfortable with Jim, he tells her that he is engaged to a girl called Betty whom he would marry shortly. He also went on to explain that he had changed so much after the engagement, because of love.