Glass Menagerie 1

The Glass Menagerie
By Tennesee Williams
Scene Seven

Jim is the long-awaited gentleman caller. He is described as a person more connected to the real world than any of the other characters are, but Jim is also a symbol for the “expected something that we live for.”  He is outgoing, enthusiastic, and believes in self-improvement. He raises Laura’s hopes before revealing to her that he is engaged.   Note: Tom is Laura’s brother.

I’m glad to see you have a sense of humor.  You know – you’re – different than anybody else I know?  Do you mind me telling you that?  I mean it.  You make me feel sort of – I don’t know how to say it!  I’m usually pretty good at expressing things, but – this is something I don’t know how to say!  Did anybody ever tell you that you were pretty?  Well, you are!  And in a different way from anyone else.  And all the nicer because of the difference.  Oh, boy , I wish that you were my sister.  I’d teach you to have confidence in yourself.  Being different is nothing to be ashamed of.  Because other people aren’t such wonderful people.  They’re a hundred times one thousand.  You’re one times one!  They walk all over the earth.  You just stay here.  They’re as common as – weeds, but – you, well you’re a rose!  It’s right for you! – You’re pretty!  You’re pretty in all respects – your eyes – your hair.  Your hands are pretty!  You think I’m saying this because I’m invited to dinner and have to be nice.  Oh, I could do that!  I could say lots of things without being sincere.  But I’m talking to you sincerely.  I happened to notice you had this inferiority complex that keeps you from feeling comfortable with people.  Somebody ought to build your confidence up – way up! And make you proud instead of shy and turning away and – blushing – .  Somebody – ought to – somebody ought to – kiss you Laura!  (Awkward pause) … Laura, you know, if I had a sister like you, I’d do the same things as Tom.  I’d bring fellows home to meet you.  Maybe I shouldn’t be saying this.  That may not have been the idea in having me over.  But what if it was?  There’s nothing wrong with that. – The only trouble is that in my case – I’m not in a position to —- I can’t ask for your number and say I’ll phone.  I can’t call up next week end – ask for a date.  I thought I had better explain the situation in case you – misunderstood and I hurt your feelings… You see, I’ve – got strings on me.  Laura, I’ve – been going steady!  I go out all the time with a girl named Betty.  Oh, she’s a nice quiet home girl like you, and Catholic and Irish, and in a great many ways we – get along fine.  I met her last summer on a moonlight boat trip up the river to Alton, on the Majestic.  Well – right away from the start it was – love!  Oh, boy, being in love has made a new man of me!  The power of love is pretty tremendous!  Love is something that – changes the whole world.  I happened that Betty’s aunt took sick and she got a wire and had to go to Centralia.  So naturally when Tom asked me to dinner – naturally I accepted the invitation, not knowing – I mean – not knowing.  I wish that you would – say something.  Well… I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m rushing off.  But I promised Betty I’d pick her up at the Wabash depot an’ by the time I get my jalopy down there her train’ll be in.  Some women are pretty upset if you keep them waiting.  Good-bye, Laura.  And don’t you forget the good advice I gave you.

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