Laura Chase is a woman who lives by her own rules. Even as a child, Laura is never afraid to look at situations from different angles, and she does not let a fear of consequences change her actions. When she invites Alex Thomas to dinner and then when she boldly hides him in the house, Laura follows her heart rather than acting logically. She is very compassionate and cannot bear to turn away anyone who might need her. Laura is drawn to Alex because his political beliefs place him in a vulnerable position, and Laura is always committed to using her wealth and privilege to help the less fortunate. Laura believes she has the capacity to be independent and make her own way in the world. She repeatedly suggests to Iris that they try to become financially independent, and she looks for opportunities to work and develop her skills.
Laura’s lack of conformity ends up making her vulnerable. She is dreamy and often hard to understand, which can lead to others failing to believe what she tells them. First with Mr. Erskine and then with Richard, Laura tries to tell people about the abuse she is being subjected to. Because she has a history of acting impulsively and saying strange things, it is easy for people to dismiss her claims. Laura also has so much integrity and conviction that she is willing to trade her body for promises that Alex will be kept safe. Richard exploits this vulnerability in order to serve his own ends. Finally, Laura’s innocent vulnerability prompts her to reveal her hopes for a life with Alex to Iris, which causes Iris to lash out and immediately precedes Laura’s death.