Study Guide

The Glass Menagerie Scene Six

By Tennessee Williams

Scene Six

  • 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.