In the end of the play, why is Laura the victim of the whole tragedy? (Besides the abandonment from Tom)

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would probably question as to whether or not Laura is the victim of the drama.  I think that on one level, Laura could be seen as a "victim" because Jim breaks off the chance of marrying her and Amanda and Tom fight with the latter leaving.  Yet, I think that it can be argued that Laura is not the victim for a couple of reasons.  I think that there is more emotional pain resonating in Amanda and Tom, and even Jim to a certain extent, than Laura.  She is the only one who is able to accept her own reality.  Tom suffers from a romanticism of the future, while Amanda waxes nostalgic of the past.  Jim seems to be victimized to an extent by his own dreams and his pursuit of them.  Laura is the only one who is able to make peace with her own reality and her own state of being in the world.  It is significant that the play ends with her blowing out the candles on the cake.  I think that Williams is quite deliberate in constructing Laura's character as one that might be seen as weak at the start of the play, but also one that shows herself to be stronger than others around her by the end of it.

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The Glass Menagerie

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