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“Anticipatory” is too redundant a word to describe the mood in the Wingfield household this evening. Tom is apprehensive, having been forced into inviting his workmate to the house, of course to meet Laura (although Jim doesn’t know this), and always secretly longing for a life of “adventure”; he probably feels the tension that the evening is going to bring. Laura herself is self-conscious and timid, remembering her past antisocial experiences, and unaware that this “gentleman caller” is someone she went to school with. Amamda is beside herself, living in a dream world of the past (her own courtship days), and wildly exaggerating the impact this visit will have on the household. The audience is sensing impending disaster, and knows of Tom’s unrest.
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