What is the significance of Jim and Laura's Dance?  

Expert Answers
lfawley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the main significances that comes to my mind (and I have directed this piece) is that Laura finally comes out of her shell for a moment. Laura has been held back by the fear of the noise that her brace makes. She is shy and afraid to connect with anyone. When she dances with Jim, she leaves her handicap behind her for a moment. She is free from her own limitations and is allowing herself to connect with another human being. When the unicorn breaks as a result of their dance, something interesting happens. It loses its horn. In doing so, it becomes like the other horses. It is no longer different. This is what Laura wants - to be like everyone else, to not be held back by her "deformity" (which is often played as much less apparent than Laura feels that it is - and I prefer this approach as I believe it is something that she has built into a bigger handicap than it actually is). When Laura is around Amanda, her mother, she is ever aware of her insufficiencies because whether she means to or not Amanda is always making her aware of them. In the dark, with Jim, she experiences a brief moment of self confidence and begins to see herself not as deformed or different but just as Laura, a fragile but, like the unicorn, potentially beautiful young woman. Sadly, the moment is fleeting and she, like Tenessee Williams' sister Rose on whm this character is based, retreats to her glass menagerie where she feels safe and where she feels that she can keep her difference away from the world.

Read the study guide:
The Glass Menagerie

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question