The Glass Menagerie
By Tennesee Williams
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.