Symbolic illustration of Laura's hands holding a glass unicorn

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams

Start Free Trial

How does Jim behave towards Laura in Scene 7 of The Glass Menagerie?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial