How are the characters empowered through sexuality and physique?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think The Glass Menagerie deals with either sexuality or physique in any significant way.  The clearest reference to physique (which I'm interpreting as physicality) is Laura's so-called deformity.  She does have a limp of some kind, obviously, which has been a nuisance and a trial.  As much as that, though, her limp is an outward manifestation of her emotional crippling.  There is no empowerment there because the limp, though perhaps diminished in her mind, still exists.

Jim, the gentleman caller, is active and energetic, and quite "alive" in a way one might call virile, so perhaps this is an aspect of physique which matters. 

The only sexuality comes between these two characters.  There is a kind of awakening for Laura as a result of their kiss and their brief dance, as indicated by the unicorn which loses its horn.  She has somehow, to paraphrase a line from Pinocchio, become "a real girl."   To that extent, then, sexuality as an awakening could be part of Laura's empowerment.

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The Glass Menagerie

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