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The glass meagerieThe gentleman caller breaks laura's favorite item in her glass...

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adefang | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 10, 2008 at 4:57 AM via web

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The glass meagerie

The gentleman caller breaks laura's favorite item in her glass collection:the unicorn.Explain why that accident has a positive and negative effect on laura,referring to the play to support your interpretation.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 18, 2008 at 3:52 PM (Answer #2)

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In the play, the glass unicorn is symbolic of Laura's belief that she is different from everyone else because of her disability.  Like the unicorn, who is different from the other horses, because of his horn, he becomes normal from the breaking of the horn off his head. 

When Jim accidentally breaks the unicorn, he actually allows Laura to feel like all the other girls, she has been kissed and made to feel desirable by the man she had a huge crush on in high school.

Like the unicorn who is transformed by Jim's actions, so too is Laura transformed by his attention to her, even if it is for only one evening. 

The negative effect on Laura, is that now she knows what she is missing, having experienced a romantic moment with Jim, her longing for him will be more informed by her experience.


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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM (Answer #3)

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All true.  And when Laura sends the figurine home with Jim as "a souvenir," there is a hopefulness (as well as a sadness) which carries over to the rest of her life.  She is no longer an oddity, something unreal, a piece of glass.  Instead, she's got a chance, now, to be "normal."  Obviously what happened before--the failed attempt at business school, the interlude with Jim--could not be considered successes in Laura's life; however, the broken figurine seems to somehow signify a change or a shift for the better.  Ironically, for Laura a broken piece of glass may be the key to her future as someone whole.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:33 PM (Answer #4)

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When the horn breaks off the unicorn, he is like the other horses; likewise, when she dances with Jim, Laura begins to feel like a normal person.  She can belong to the herd of humanity and not stick out.  On the other hand, like the sobriquet which Jim has given her--"blue roses"--Laura may have also sacrificed some of her uniqueness.

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