Discuss Jim's behavior toward Laura in Scene 7 of The Glass Menagerie.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On one level, Jim's behavior toward Laura is reflective of how far he has come.  When he signs the program and when he tells Laura about how all she needs is confidence, the initial supposition is that Laura is struggling and Jim represents a sense of strength.  His treatment of her might reflect this.  Yet, I think that Williams might want to probe a bit deeper with this. Jim has struggled with his own reality matching the expectations placed on him from high school, when he was projected to be a great success.  Accordingly, Jim reflects a sense of ambivalence when he glosses over Laura's own predicament, reflecting a lack of courage in addressing her own life.  His lack of grasp over consciousness is also present when he kisses Laura, but then confesses his engagement.  Between Laura and Jim, both characters seem to be challenged, seeking to be less "freakish," like the unicorn whose horn is broken off.  Jim's acceptance of Laura's gift reflects that he might not be as solid and secure as one would believe.  This underscores Williams' belief of human frailty that lies at the foundation of the psyche.

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The Glass Menagerie

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