T. Williams The
This, in fact, is a memory. Tom Wingfield talks about the time – between the two wars – when he lived in St. Louis with his mother Amanda Wingfield – a woman endowed with great zest for life, but unable to adapt to the present and desperately clinging to the past, and sister Laura, a dreamer who had moved to childhood a serious illness – one leg in her and remained slightly shorter than the other. Tom himself, a poet in the shower, then served in a shoe shop and suffered painfully, engaged in a hated affair, and in the evenings he listened to the mother’s endless stories about her life in the South, about the fans left there and other real and imaginary victories…
Amanda eagerly awaits the success of
Choosing the right moment, Amanda pulls out of Tom’s promise to bring in the house and introduce Laura some decent young man. Some time later Tom invites to dinner his colleague Jim O’Connor, the only person in the store, with whom he is on a friendly foot. Laura and Jim went to the same school, but for Jim, it’s unexpected that she’s Tom’s sister. Laura, still a schoolgirl, was in love with Jim, who was always in the center of attention – shining in basketball, leading a discussion club, singing in school productions. For Laura again to see this prince of his girlish dreams – a real shock. Shaking his hand, she almost loses consciousness and quickly disappears in her room. Soon, under a plausible pretext, Amanda sends Jim to her. The young man does not recognize Laura, and she herself has to reveal to him, that they have long been acquainted. Jim hardly remembers the girl who gave the nickname Blue Rose in the school. This glorious, benevolent young man has not been so successful in life as he promised in his school years. True, he does not lose hope and continues to make plans. Laura gradually calms down – in her sincere, interested tone, Jim relieves her of nervous tension, and she gradually begins to talk to him as an old friend.
Jim can not help seeing the terrible complexion of the girl. He tries to help, convinces that her limp is not at all conspicuous – no one at school even noticed that she wears special shoes. People are not evil at all, he tries to convince Laura, especially when you get to know them better. Almost all of them do not get along well enough – it’s not good to consider yourself the worst. In his opinion, Laura’s main problem lies in the fact that she has hammered into her head: only everything is bad for her…
Laura asks about the girl with whom Jim met at school – they said that they were engaged. Learning that there was no wedding and Jim had not seen her for a long time, Laura blossomed. It is felt that a timid hope has arisen in the soul. She shows Jim his collection of glass figures – the highest sign of trust. Among the little animals stands out a unicorn – an extinct animal, not like anyone else. Jim immediately pays attention to him. Tom, probably, it’s boring to stand on one shelf with ordinary animals like glass horses?
Through the open window from the restaurant opposite sounds the waltz sounds. Jim invites Laura to dance, she refuses – she is afraid that she will give him a leg. “But I’m not glass,” Jim says with a laugh. In dance, they still bump into the table, and the unicorn forgotten there falls. Now he is the same as everyone else: his horn has broken off.
Jim says with feeling to Laura that she is an extraordinary girl, unlike anyone else – just like her unicorn. She’s beautiful, She has a sense of humor. Such as she is, one for a thousand. In a word, the Blue Rose. Jim kisses Laura – enlightened and frightened, she sits on the sofa. However, she misinterpreted this movement of the young man’s soul: the kiss is just a sign of Jim’s tender involvement in the girl’s destiny and another attempt to make her believe in herself.
However, seeing the reaction of Laura, Jim is frightened and hurries to say that he has a bride. But Laura must believe: she will be all right too. It is only necessary to overcome their complexes. Jim continues to utter typical American platitudes such as “the man is the master of his own destiny”, etc., not noticing that the expression of infinite sorrow appears on Laura’s face, which has just radiated divine light. She gives Jim a unicorn – in memory of this evening and about her.
The appearance in the room of Amanda looks like a clear dissonance to everything that is happening here: she keeps playfully and is almost sure that the groom is on the hook. However, Jim quickly brings clarity and, saying that he must hurry – he still needs to meet at the station bride, – bowed and leaves. Do not have time to close the door behind him, as Amanda explodes and arranges for her son a scene: what was this dinner and all the expenditure, if the young man is busy? For Tom, this scandal is the last straw. After quitting his job, he leaves home and goes on a journey.
In the epilogue, Tom says that he will never be able to forget his sister: “I did not know that I was so devoted to you that I can not betray.” In his imagination there is a beautiful image of Laura blowing a candle before going to bed. “Good-bye, Laura,” Tom says sadly.