A Streetcar Named Desire: Relationship Between Stanley and Blanche

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A Streetcar Named Desire is a play of multifaceted themes and diverse characters with the main antagonists of the play, Blanche and Stanley infused by their polarized attitudes towards reality and society ‘structured on the basis of the oppositions past/present and paradise lost/present chaos’(*1). The effect of these conflicting views is the mental deterioration of Blanche’s cerebral health that, it has been said; Stanley an insensitive brute destroyed Blanche with cruel relish and is the architect of her tragic end. However, due to various events in the play this statement is open to question, for instance, the word ‘insensitive’ is debatable, ‘insensitive’ can be defined as not thinking of other people’s feelings but Stanley is aware of…show more content…
Stanley overhears these comments as they are ‘unaware of his presence’ (S4:pg.164*; and wants to dispose of Blanche to protect his marriage as Blanche has a hysterical determination to urge Stella to leave Stanley. Stanley refuses to accept Blanches’ conduct as she had no right to intervene and arbitrate as a guest in Stanley’s home supporting the idea that Stanley was preparing her downfall all along. Blanches’ emotional state of mind is also conspicuous at the start of the play as she circumvents direct light, fearful of showing her fading looks and the light would make her vulnerable to the truth. Blanche is unable to withstand harsh light, calling the light a ‘merciless glare’(S1:pg.120*) because with Allan’s death, the light had gone out of her life and the effect this had is that she wanted dim lights hiding the reality of her painful memories. This links to the theme of dream and reality as Blanche, a delicate character, refused ‘to accept the reality of her life and attempts to live under illusion’ (*2), living on the borders of life similar to a moth which creates the image of Blanches’ fragility. The way this theme contributes to Stanley destroying Blanches’ mental health is that his necessity for reality intrudes on Blanches’ desperate attempt at surviving illusions. Stanley is ‘simple, straightforward and honest’ (S2:pg.137*) and incapable of understanding Blanches’ delicate
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