A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

Decent Essays
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a play about a troubled woman, Blanche, who moves in with her sister, Stella, and her overpowering husband, Stanley. Privileged but fragile Blanche clashes with working class Stanley, which causes issues between he and Stella. Blanche’s tragic past plagues her, and her compromised mental state is evident throughout the play; she attempts to hide the tragedy and failure in her life by being dishonest about her past. In the passage selected, Blanche is caught in her lies and is forced to face the truth in an argument with her love interest, Mitch. During her argument in this extract, Williams develops Blanche’s character and illustrates the effect of tragedy on her life. Williams uses…show more content…
Williams uses imagery to show the extent of Blanche’s insanity and how it stemmed from tragedy.
Williams uses hyphens and abrupt syntax to draw attention to Blanche’s unstable mental state. Blanche says,
“ ‘ … I think it was panic, just panic, that drove me from one to another, hunting for some protection-- here and there in the most--unlikely places--even, at last, in a seventeen-year-old boy but--somebody wrote the superintendent about it-- ‘This woman is morally unfit for her position!’ ” (line 20-25).

The use of hyphens show that Blanche is struggling to string together cohesive thoughts, and subsequently fragment her speech to reveal her frantic nature. The hesitation conveyed by the hyphens shows that she is nearly unable to discuss her past because it continues to cause her so much pain.
When Mitch first accuses Blanche of impurity, she tries to undermine the credibility of her accuser. She acts as if his claim was ridiculous, crying out, “ ‘The merchant Kiefaber of Laurel! I know that man. He whistled at me. I put him in his place. So now for revenge he makes up stories about me’ ” (line 2-4). Blanche’s automatic deflection of being sexually pursued reveals her desire to be constantly validated. This likely stems from her husband’s homosexuality, which Blanche took as a direct insult
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