Two of the main characters in Tennessee Williams's Glass Menagerie are Jim O'Connor and Amanda Wingfield. Amanda is a Southern Episcopalian and the typical southern belle. Jim is an Irish Catholic that is not much of a gentleman, which is seen when he calls his ex, Emily, a kraut-head. Amanda is very protective of her children. She does not want Tom to turn out like his father and he wants Laura to find a husband. Jim has a short attention span, as seen when he takes out the gum when the flavor is gone. However, Amanda and Jim are alike in many ways.
Amanda and Jim would both like the best for Laura and give her advice on what she needs to do in life. Amanda makes the suggestion to have gentlemen callers and to find a husband to take care of her. Jim is able to spot that Laura has an inferiority complex. His advice is to think of herself as superior in some way and to have faith in herself.
Jim and Amanda are also people who had higher expectations in life than what they are doing and what they have done. Jim was voted most likely to succeed in his high school class, but as of yet he as accomplished nothing of importance. However, he is taking courses in public speaking and radio engineering to hopefully get him into the new television industry. Amanda was a woman of many gentlemen callers, and was expected to marry one. Most of her callers were wealthy and could have taken care of her for the rest of her life. However, Amanda marries a man that was a drunk and that left her with the two kids. This is not what she had expected.
Another shared quality between Amanda and Jim is that they both dwell on their past. Amanda thinks she is still living in Blue Mountain and receiving seventeen gentlemen callers. She tries to act younger than she is, which is seen in the dress that she wears at the dinner with Jim. Jim still looks back on his high school days of winning basketball games and being the center of attention.