In a cramped and suffocating apartment, the aging Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield, long preoccupied by memories of gentlemen callers and a world that no longer exists, determined to find stability for her children is energized by the dilemma of how to save what remains of her family.
After Amanda's husband abandons her, Tom is forced to become the family provider. Chained to a banal existence of working a menial job, perpetually lacking action or adventure. As Amanda depends on Tom more and more the burden becomes unbearable and caught between the dismal present and an exotic future, he choose the future and follows in his fathers footsteps by abandoning his family to seek out a new and fulfilling life.
Meanwhile, the fragile hopes and dreams of his sister are lovingly tended and then in an evening shattered when her only gentlemen caller calls. She has fantasized over this meeting indefinitely and when the gentlemen caller finally shows up, he flatters her, dances with her, breaks a glass unicorn, kisses her and then pronounces himself engaged and leaves forever.
Tom - " I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion...to begin with I turn back time. I reverse it to that quaint period, the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed then, or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the braille alphabet of a dissolving economy."
Tom - "From then on I followed in my father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space."