Quote 4

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. . . . [smiling] I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish!

This exchange, also from Scene Seven, occurs not long after the previous one. After persuading Laura to dance with him, Jim accidentally bumps the table on which the glass unicorn rests, breaking the horn off of the figurine. Apparently, Laura’s warning to him about the delicacy of the glass objects reflects a very reasonable caution, but Jim fails to take the warning seriously enough. The accident with the unicorn foreshadows his mishandling of Laura, as he soon breaks her heart by announcing that he is engaged.

Just as Jim’s clumsy advances make Laura seem and feel like an ordinary girl, his clumsy dancing turns her beloved unicorn into an ordinary horse. For the time being, Laura is optimistic about the change, claiming that the unicorn should be happy to feel like less of a misfit, just as she herself is temporarily happy because Jim’s interest in her makes her feel like less of an outcast. Laura and the glass unicorn have similar fragility, however, and Laura, perhaps knowingly, predicts her own fate when she implies that no matter how careful Jim might be, her hopes will end up shattered.