Laura Wingfield Quotes in The Glass Menagerie
Fifty dollars’ tuition, all of our plans—my hopes and ambitions for you—just gone up the spout, just gone up the spout like that.
I went in the art museum and the bird houses at the Zoo...Lately I’ve been spending most of my afternoons in the Jewel Box, that big glass house where they raise the tropical flowers.
What is there left but dependency all our lives? I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren’t prepared to occupy a position. I’ve seen such pitiful cases in the South—barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister’s husband or brother’s wife!—stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room—encouraged by one in-law to visit another—little birdlike women without any nest—eating the crust of humility all their life!
But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without removing one nail. [He has come inside.] There is a trick that would come in handy for me—get me out of this two-by-four situation!...You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?
No girl can do worse than put herself at the mercy of a handsome appearance!
[Laura] lives in a world of her own—a world of little glass ornaments, Mother...
Amanda: A little silver slipper of a moon. Look over your left shoulder, Laura, and make a wish! ... Now! Now, darling, wish!
Laura: What shall I wish for, Mother?
Amanda [her voice trembling, and her eyes suddenly filling with tears]: Happiness! Good fortune!
A fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.
Jim lights a cigarette and leans indolently back on his elbows smiling at Laura with a warmth and charm which lights her inwardly with altar candles.
Jim: What kind of glass is it?
Laura: Little articles of it, they’re ornaments mostly! Most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie!...Oh, be careful—if you breathe, it breaks!...There now—you’re holding him gently! Hold him over the light, he loves the light! You see how the light shines through him?
Jim: Aw, aw, aw. Is it broken?
Laura: Now it is just like all the other horses.
Jim: It’s lost its—
Laura: Horn! It doesn’t matter...I don’t have favorites much...I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish!
They’re common as—weeds, but—you—well, you’re—Blue Roses!
The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!