Blanche Dubois In A Streetcar Named Desire

Decent Essays
Throughout his play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Tennessee Williams uses symbolism to create the characterization of certain individuals. Blanche is certainly one of the most complex of characters, and readers over time learn more and more about her mysterious and even suspicious background. There is much evidence throughout the play to support the idea that Blanche longs to share the secrecy of her past with someone, but because she is fearful of being vulnerably truthful, she hides herself in the darkness, symbolic of hiding behind a mask of deceit. Some may argue that Blanche does not long to share the truth about herself with others because of her resistance to light. Although she does hide herself in darkness, Blanche opens…show more content…
One example of this is when Blanche first reunites with her sister in the beginning of the play. Blanche exclaims, “Let me look at you. But don’t you look at me, Stella, no, no, no, not till later. ... And turn that over-light off! Turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare” (18). She does not want Stella to closely examine her when first arriving. She avoids the light, representing truth, because Stella does not yet know that Belle Reve was lost, and does not know the true reason of why Blanche left her job to come to stay with her. This is one of her secrets that she had buried deep within her and was afraid to let out. She also tells Stella, “You haven’t said a word to me.” Stella replied by stating, “ You haven’t given me a chance to, honey” (19). The fact that Blanche rambled on and on without giving her sister time to ask any questions could have meant that Blanche was avoiding ‘interrogation’ so to speak, quite possibly because she did not want the darkness of her past to be exposed. Another example of Blanche’s fear of vulnerability is the fact that she always avoided too much lighting around Mitch. She had him put a paper lantern over the light bulb, reducing the brightness of the room. She also told Mitch that she hated bare lightbulbs, and yet another time, she tells Mitch on their date, “We’ll have a night-cap.…show more content…
Because of her painful and even immoral past, she is afraid of trusting people enough to be completely open with them, because with truthfulness come vulnerability. She therefore misleads others by her mask of darkness and deception, but not only are her actions misleading others, but she also tries to deceive herself. She does not want to accept reality, and by not sharing her secrets and experiences with others, instead of accepting the truth, she buries it deep within her. Sadly, this rejection of reality causes Blanche’s deleterious descent into
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