Jim doesn't value humanity but he may have rescued Laura if he wasnt going steady. Is this a slip on Williams part or an interesting complexity?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that I am going with interesting complexity on this one.  For the most part, Williams' plays feature really intricate characters who are multidimensional.  This is why I am not full sold on the idea of "Jim doesn't value humanity."  I am in complete agreement that him being that close to Laura and continuing to engage in what is real passion under the pretext of being engaged is not very appropriate, but it seems to be a stretch to suggest that he doesn't value humanity. He does seem to have real feelings of sincerity for Laura.  Granted, his suggestion of public speaking classes as the panacea for her is not really accurate, but it shows that he at least does have some authentic emotions for her.  The other reason why I think that Jim is complex because of Laura's reaction to him.  He gets the unicorn and Laura really does experience some feeling for him.  I don't think that Williams would have constructed Laura's reaction to him in such a manner if there was not some level of goodness within him.  He is like the others in the play that walk the line between appearances and reality.  Despite this, I don't think that Jim is not that bad of a guy, but rather a decent fellow who is pitted in an impossible situation to be the family savior.

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The Glass Menagerie

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