A Street Car Named Desire - The Importance of Scene 6
Scene 6 is a poignant part of 'A Street Car Named Desire' and only contains the characters Mitch and Blanche. The scene begins with the impression that Blanche and Mitch have not enjoyed the evening that they have just spent together at a local carnival. Blanches voice and manner is described as being " the utter exhaustion which only a neurasthenic personality can know." Mitch is described as being "stolid but depressed." Mitch even admits "I'm afraid you haven't gotten much fun out of this evening Blanche." and "I felt all the time that I wasn't giving you much-entertainment." At this point in the scene the viewer gets the impression that Mitch and Blanche are not …show more content…
Blanche tends to romanticize reality and she does this in this scene by saying: "We are going to be very Bohemian. We are going to pretend that we are sitting in a little artists' café on the Left Bank in Paris! Je suis la Dame aux Camilles! Vous etes - Armand! Understand French?" Not only does this indicate that she can't bear the reality of being on a date with Mitch in Stella and Stanley's Kitchen, but it flaunts her education, something Mitch has not had the privilege. This doesn't allow Mitch to have intellectual domination over Blanche.
This hinders Mitch's ability to hold good conversation. He talks about alpaca, his bad perspiration, and weight. Once he realizes this is not interesting conversation he hesitantly, and rather clumsily, asks Blanche what her weight and age is!! Tactful people would know not to ask women those kinds of questions.
He continues to mention how his mother is sick and that he wants to tell her all about Blanche. Conversation picks up and Blanche and Mitch begin to open up to each other.
Blanche tells Mitch about how hostile and rude Stanley is to her and how she thinks he hates her. It is important that Mitch knows this as at the end of
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Blanche needs Mitch as a stabilizing force in her life; if her relationship with him fails, she knows she faces a world that offers few prospects for a financially challenged, unmarried woman approaching middle age. She tacitly admits to Mitch that she needs him when she accepts his embrace, but her fears of acknowledging her past and current situation overpower her and prevent her from telling the full truth. She hides her past not only from Mitch, but also from herself because to acknowledge it is to also admit the unhealthy choices she has made. When Stanley tells Mitch about Blanche’s blemished past Mitch recognizes that Blanche’s deceptions have relied on a symbolic and literal darkness which obscures reality. When Mitch asks Blanche to be honest about herself she says, “I don’t want realism. I want Magic! I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be the truth” (145). In these lines Blanche clearly expresses her desire not to deal with reality; this inability to face her circumstances signifies that Blanche is not recovering from her mental stress, but rather descending further into it. Blanche becomes desperate and delusional and her descent into mental
Whiteness is also evoked by Mitch, and Stella. Mitch wants a replacement for his aging mother. Yet, Mitch feels hurt when he finds out about Blanche's prior sexual experiences from Stanley and takes his feelings of sexual rejection, and eventually forces himself on her against her will. The culmination comes when Blanche asks Mitch to marry him and he responds, "I don't think I want to marry you anymore you're not clean enough to bring home to my mother."(120-121). Stella also demonstrates her cruelty at the end of the story when she decides to let the doctor bring her sister to a mental ward, going along with Stanley's plan to get rid of her. Stella evokes a kind of social norm of acceptable sane behavior.
The reader may view Blanche as someone who tried to escape her sordid past in Laurel and wanted to start a new life with her sister, yet due to the continuous investigations from Stanley, was unable to do so. Stanley reveals Blanches’ lies and deceits, commenting on them as her ‘same old act, same old hooey!’ This tells the reader that his research of Blanches’ past is way of stopping her from finding a new life. Blanche attempts to redeem her life by finding love with Mitch, yet Stanley again reveals to Mitch that she was not ‘straight’, resulting in Mitch not wanting to be with her and also contributing to her fate. Stanley, after mercilessly divulging all her truths and bringing her to the edge of her mental capacity, rapes Blanche which brought about her final collapse. The reader may view Stella as someone at blame for her sisters’ fate, as though she shows some moral support of Blanches’ situation and listens to what she has to say, Stella continuously throughout the play neglects to notice Blanches slow mental deterioration and ignores Blanches’ outcries and incessant need for attention. Stella chooses Stanley over Blanche, despite her warnings about him being ‘volatile, violent and sub-human which represents not
She even tells Mitch that she doesn’t tell the truth, she tells what ought to be truth. So Blanche is aware that she is lying and continues to do it, which end the end causes grief for her.
Unlike Stanley, Mitch has learned to be sympathetic towards Blanche and her representation of femininity. Mitch however, still cultivates toxic masculinity when he does not bring correction to his friend, Stanley, when he sees him being openly abusive. He also allows Stanley to ruin his chances at happiness with Blanche.
Mitch has a very courteous and gregarious perspective on life. He basically believes that everyone deserves a chance. When he first meets Blanche, he begins to fall in love with her but soon after Stanley reveals the true Blanche to Mitch, he feels betrayed. At that point, his perspective changed because, he begins to become a little more like Stanley. An example of this is when he finds out and comes to meet Blanche and tells her
Stella abandons Blanche in her time of need, partly responsible for Blanche’s struggles prior to the plays events. Struggles that played a role in Blanche's overall instabilities and insecurities. But why is Stanley the one that's ultimately responsible? Aside from verbally and physically abusing Blanche, He isolates Blanche from the people she loves, the only people she has left. He was the one who convinced Mitch to abandon Blanche by telling him about her past. “You're goddamn right I told him! I'd have that on my conscience the rest of my life if I knew all that stuff and let my best friend get caught!”(Williams,126) He is the one that silences Stella. He is aware of his power over Stella. He is the reason why Stella abandons Blanche. He manipulates Stella into forgiving him even when he abuses her. He makes sure she is dependent of him so she never leaves while also subtly attempting to persuade her into taking his side instead of Blanches. “Stella, it's gonna be all right after she goes and after you've had the baby. It's gonna be all right again between you and me the way that it was. You remember that way that it was?”.
In spite of Blanche living in an imaginary world creating ‘temporary magic” and enjoying it, she is materialistic and pragmatic in her approach to Mitch – she considers her circumstances, and clearly realises that the only way to survive these, as she announces in Scene 5, is to be with Mitch in order to live in New Orleans and “not be anyone’s problem” essentially, to have a stable and respectful marriage.
due to her past blanche’s actions are unusual and to many they are considered inappropriate. Blanche lives through some very dark and intense incidents before the play takes place, she witnesses the death of her entire family, she loses her family home, and to add to the misery she believes she is the reason her husband killed himself. In an act to move on she retreats into illusion acting as if these incidents never happened. Blanche decides to lie to everyone, from her sister to the man she potentially wanted to marry, she does not give them the truth. She wants to marry mitch but does not tell him about her past, mitch had all right to know, yet she led him on, actions like these in an environment of connection is inappropriate beyond a doubt. Because of her lies and illusions Blanche ends up losing everything, she loses her only chance at a future with Mitch and her freedom when she is sent to the mental institution. Blanches motivation by the past caused her life around her dissolve.
In scene nine, Blanche is confronted by Mitch, who has learned the truth about her past. Mitch tells Blanche that he has never seen her in the light. He tears Blanche's paper lantern off of the plain, bright light bulb, and tries to see her as she really is, and not in a view warped by Blanche's efforts to make herself seem more innocent, young, and beautiful than she is. Blanche responds to
Furthermore, Blanche claims to have an old friendship with a man who is now a millionaire, a certain Mr. Shep Huntleigh. She believes that if she needs help at any m point in time, especially monetary aid, “darling Shep” will be there to cable in some money. Shep Huntleigh represents Blanche’s idea of the perfect man, a rich, debonair, suave gentleman. She sees Stanley as everything but that perfect man, cruel to her sister and even crueler to herself. Blanche constantly claims she is going to go off and see Shep, and after Mitch reveals his knowledge of the truth about her, she claims she is going to spend a month or so abroad. “I received a telegram from an old admirer of mine,” she claims, “A cruise of the Caribbean on a yacht!” However, Stanley crushes her spirit almost immediately, tearing her fanciful dreams apart into ragged threads. “There isn’t a goddam thing but imagination!” he screams. It is Stanley who refuses to let Blanche live in a dream world.
She begins to ramble on more, have more delusions and lie about crazy things such as Shep Huntleigh inviting her on a cruise to the Caribbean. She begins to shower more often or “hydrotherapy” as she calls it, because it “is necessary for her probably to wash away the feeling of guilt as also the stains of her promiscuous life” (Kataria 96). As the play comes to an end, Blanche becomes more psychotic and no one is on her side. Blanche appears to swirl into oblivion towards the end of the play when a fiight with Stanley gets physical. “She finally realizes to her dismay that she has lost her reputation, a place to go to, and what is worse, her charm. This realization, painful as it is, coupled with the rape, sends her reeling into a world of shadows from which she was never really far away” (Kataria 182.)
While drinking heavily after Mitch’s refusal to marry her, her delusional madness worsens. With very little self esteem left Blanche begins to pretend that there are people
Yet, she is capable of manipulation and adept at spinning lies as clearly evidenced by her constant lies about a Mr. Shep Huntleigh, who does not really exist, or her lies about being on a leave of absence. This is also clear based on her manipulation of Mitch, played by Karl Malden, into making him fall for her or her emotional manipulation of Stella. Beneath this façade, Blanche seems to be terrified of losing control and terrified of reality. She spends a lot of the play and film sneaking drinks so that she can "calm her nerves" and one could even argue that her manipulation is simply her creating a reality that she doesn 't have to be so afraid of.