Laura bucks social conventions of the time by living her life as she pleases, wearing whatever she wants (“tight sweaters and pants”), admitting in court that she sometimes forgoes underwear, and by divorcing a man and marrying his replacement within three days. She loves to go out and have fun, whenever her husband falls asleep early; she goes to the local inn where she plays pinball, dances, drinks, or goes for a walk around the lake with her small dog. Laura’s outrageous behavior by the standards of the time cause the opposing prosecutor to accuse her of having an affair with her alleged rapist, and accusing him to cover up her indecency and avoid her husband beating her up for it. A few nights after her husband’s arrest, Paul finds her dancing and having fun at a local dive bar, rather than sitting at home and being the diligent housewife. He tells her to do otherwise, and she tearfully admits that she just gets so lonely and bored at home, it’s difficult not to want to go out and have a good time. She is bold, flirtatious, and aware of the impact she has on men, also quite fond of it, but also aware that she needs to present a more “sympathetic” side to the jury if she wants them to feel sorry for her. So she tamps down some of her natural sexiness to appeal to them, but is far more comfortable in her own skin (and with her luscious blond locks down around her shoulders). Laura really doesn’t think about the future much, if at all.

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Laura just wants to be loved, and not feel lonely anymore. When she doesn’t receive that kind of attention from her husband at home, she dresses up and goes out on the town, where she enjoys dancing, drinking with, and being hit on by various men, because it makes her feel desirable and beautiful. She is quite forward and seductive, even touching Paul and making advances toward him (until he reminds her that her husband is watching them out of the jail window). She asks him if he likes her clothes and seems concerned that he may think she needs a girdle to keep any bulges in place. She also says he wants her, just like everybody else, and that it’s easy to tell when a man likes you, because of how his eyes follow you. Laura assumes being attractive and appealing makes her loveable and sticks with her husband, despite his abusive behavior, because she isn’t sure what else to do. She changes her appearance and adopts a more demure housewife presence before the court, adapting to the needs of her environment.