Explain the significance of Jim kissing Laura in scene 7 of The Glass Menagerie.

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Jim 'the gentleman caller' arrives at the Wingfield apartment in Sc.6.  Laura very reluctantly  and awkwardly after much prodding from her mother goes to the door and lets him in and immediately busies herself with the record player.  Tom defends her saying that she is extremely shy, to which Jim replies: "It's unusual to meet a shy girl nowadays."

The events just prior to and after  Jim spontaneously kissing Laura are significant because they highlight the marked change that has taken place in Laura's personality. From being a shy, nervous and timid girl who found it impossible to go  to the door to let her schoodays infatuation into her house in Sc.6, she at the end of the play after Jim's kiss in Sc.7 has become bold enough to present the broken unicorn(the most treasured piece in her 'glass menagerie') as a souvenir to Jim who has just then disappointed her by saying that he is engaged to another girl. Till then, Laura had been entirely dependent on these glass dolls as a relief from her anxiety attacks. The breaking of the glass unicorn and Jim's kiss clearly emphasize Laura's freedom from depending on her collection of glass dolls as a source of relief from her attacks of nervousness.

The kiss and what follows is the Epiphany which reveals that Laura has been cured of her inferiority complex and will be able to stand on her own 'two' feet and face life boldly without anyone's help.

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