The imagery in Tom’s speech about the magic show contains several layers of symbolic meaning. The coffin trick, with its suggestions of rising from the dead, is a reference to Christian resurrection. Christian themes are also suggested by Tom’s tendency, when he reaches the limits of his patience with Amanda’s reproaches, to see himself as a martyr committing a supreme sacrifice for the family’s good. In addition, the rainbow-colored scarf that Tom brings home and gives to Laura reminds the audience of the rainbow of colors refracted by her glass animals. On a social and historical front, the coffin is representative of the condition of the American lower middle classes, whom Williams describes, in the stage directions, as a “fundamentally enslaved” sector of America.