A Streetcar Named Desire: Sympathy for Blanche Essay

602 Words3 Pages
The arts stir emotion in audiences. Whether it is hate or humor, compassion or confusion, passion or pity, an artist's goal is to construct a particular feeling in an individual. Tennessee Williams is no different. In A Streetcar Named Desire, the audience is confronted with a blend of many unique emotions, perhaps the strongest being sympathy. Blanch Dubois is presented as the sympathetic character in Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire as she battles mental anguish, depression, failure and disaster.

During scene one, the audience is introduced to Blanche as Stella's sister, who is going to stay with her for a while. Blanch tries her best to act normal and hide her emotion from her sister, but breaks down at the end of scene
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As Stanley explains, "The Flamingo is used to all kinds of goings-on. But even the management of the Flamingo was impressed by Dame Blanche!" (120). Here Blanche has no home, no money, the only thing that she does have are good southern looks. I believe Williams wanted the audience to believe that this was the last act of a desperate woman, who didn't know what else to do. This woman was almost forced into a position that was undesired, yet necessary to survive. The audience can do nothing but sympathize with her position. Stanley goes on about Blanche's career as a high school teacher, "They kicked her out of that high school before the spring term ended-and I hate to tell you the reason that step was taken! A seventeen-year-old boy she'd gotten mixed up with!" (122). Stanley is referring to a boy that Blanche claims to have fallen in love with. His death added to her misery, and is also a part of her haunting past that blows up in her face with Mitch. The fact that she even liked a student of hers in an unacceptable manner gives the audience reason to believe that Blanche is mentally unbalanced, which is all the more reason to look on at her in pity.

The audience always had the feeling that Blanche was a little nuts, but we see her condition worsening as the play goes on. During the final scene we see Blanche go with a doctor and nurse to, presumably, a mental hospitable. Eunice
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