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What is Laura's general response to people?

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user1986223 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 22, 2013 at 9:45 PM via web

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What is Laura's general response to people?

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playsthething | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM (Answer #1)

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Laura's first response to almost everybody is to not engage.  She immediately retreats.  This retreat can be just a simple lack of eye contact or moving to be in a more oblique position to the other person. But, more often, it is a retreat to one of her primary escape zones -- her glass menagerie or her victrola.  They both accomplish the same goal: allowing her to disappear into another world.  The only person she really doesn't retreat from is Tom, revealing the special bond she has with her brother.  She consistently retreats from her mother, often using the victrola to drown out Amanda's challenges.  When the Gentleman Caller finally arrives, her first response is to collapse, but when she is not able to fully retreat, the audience is treated to a little bit of her charm.  It's lovely to watch Jim draw her out and then, it's heartbreaking when he reveals his engagement.  This leaves the audience/reader unsure as to whether or not she will ever engage again and she will permanently retreat to her escape world. 

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