Laura Wingfield has the fewest lines in the play "The Glass Menagerie," yet the play revolves around her. Laura is twenty-three, and walks with a limp due to a brace on her leg. Although Laura faces problems throughout the play, she is very compassionate. She is humble, shy, and never does anything to hurt anyone else. The character of Laura throughout the play is like a fragile piece of glass, unable to survive in the outside world, and she always retreats to her glass collection. Laura is a loving portrait locked up in her own little world, her lobotomy trapping her in a permanent adolescence. Due to Laura's low self-esteem, and inferiority complex she devotes herself to an imaginative world, which is colorful and enticing, but based on fragile illusions. .
Laura's mother, Amanda, comes from a Southern family and has had an idyllic youth. A former jet setter, Amanda relishes telling stories about her exciting past. " My callers were gentlemen, all! Among my callers were some of the most prominent planters of the Mississippi Delta; planters and sons of planters" (Williams 8). Amanda is disappointed in Laura because is not as proficient in the area of picking paramours; "It wasn't enough for a girl to be possessed of a pretty face and a graceful figure, although I wasn't slighted in either respect. She also needed to have a nimble wit and tongue to meet all occasions" (Williams 8). Laura explains to her brother, Tom, their mother's disdain in her lack of love interests. Laura is not as popular as her mother once was, and therefore no gentlemen callers have come for her. "Her hair parted in the middle and braided, and wearing black lace-up shoes and ankle socks, Laura is far from the fetching debutant of her mothers dreams" (Patrowicz [online]). Amanda wishes to live vicariously through Laura. Laura feels that she will never find someone that will take care of her and this is very upsetting to her because it is obvious that it is very important to everyone in the family.