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The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie Scene Six Summary
Tom is smoking on the fire escape again. Man, it’s almost like cigarettes are habitually addictive or something. Anyway, the screen projects "the high school hero" while Tom narrates about Jim and his many high school hero-related achievements. Basically, Jim was the captain of everything. Tom reveals that he and Jim work together at the warehouse, and that Jim has no idea he is being set up with Laura. The screen says "The accent of a coming foot." Amanda cleaned their house and decked it out for the coming guest. Laura’s all dolled up, too, or, as Williams so subtly puts it, she is "like a piece of translucent glass." Her mom stuffs powder puffs in Laura’s top, but only because they didn’t have Wonder Bras back then. Then Amanda says that pretty women are a trap, and the screen concurs with its caption. Laura checks herself out in the mirror while the screen says, "This is my sister: celebrate her with strings." Oh, and there’s music, too. Amanda gets herself all dressed up, too, harkening back to the days when she was a Southern Belle. Laura hears the name of the man coming to call and FLIPS OUT. In case her flip out wasn’t dramatic enough, the screen says "Not Jim!" It’s the same Jim that Laura had a crush on. You got that, yeah? Laura sits and is terrified of opening the door when Jim and Tom get there. So the screen says, "The Opening of a Door!" Gasp! Shock! The boys show up and Laura is too afraid to answer the door until Amanda verbally abuses her into doing it. Cue "Dardanella," a jazzy little number, while she answers the door, shyly greets Jim, and retreats to play the Victrola. Jim discusses work with Tom, and how he’s taking classes in public speaking and becoming adept at winning friends and influencing people. The screen projects an executive sitting at his desk that’s supposed to be Jim or something. Tom describes the movies and adventure and the good old pirate ship pops up on the screen again while he hints that he may be leaving soon. Tom declares he has joined the Union of Merchant Seamen and paid fees to them instead of the light bill. Amanda bustles towards the two boys and they’re both thinking, "Oh my god, who is this crazy chick?" She acts all southern-y while an image of her as a young girl comes up on the screen. Laura is all faint and shy and, well, Laura-esque at dinner (the screen reads "terror!" and there’s a storm a-rumbling outside), so her mother tells her to lie down in the living room. Those not having fainting spells say "Grace" together.
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