The Glass Menagerie
How we cite our quotes:
[Legend on screen: "Laura." Music: "The Glass Menagerie."]
"You know how Laura is. So quiet but—still water runs deep! She notices things and I think she—broods about them…A few days ago I came in and she was crying." (4.53, Scene Four stage directions, 4.54, 4.55).
Although Laura has fragile and weak elements, she is a perceptive character, noticing things about her mother and brother that others miss.
"I mean that as soon as Laura has got somebody to take care of her, married, a home of her own, independent-why, then you'll be free to go wherever you please, on land, on sea, whichever way the wind blows you! But until that time you've got to look out for your sister. I don't say me because I'm old and don't matter! I say for your sister because she's young and dependent." (4.93, Amanda).
Amanda understands parts of Laura’s fragility – her dependence on someone to provide her a home – but misses others, such as her physical weakness and the truly debilitating effect of her shyness.
"I put her in business college—a dismal failure! Frightened so it made her sick at the stomach. I took her over to the Young People’s League at the church. Another fiasco. She spoke to nobody, nobody spoke to her. Now all she does is fool with those pieces of glass and play those worn-out records. What kind of life is that for a girl to lead?" (4.93, Amanda).
Amanda’s concern over Laura’s fragility is in part based on Laura’s failure to meet what Amanda considers social norms.