The two important female characters in the "poetic tragedy"(Adler 12), A Streetcar Named Desire, are Stella and Blanche. The most obvious comparison between Stella and Blanche is that they are sisters, but this blood relationship suggests other similarities between the two women. They are both part of the final generation of a once aristocratic but now moribund family. Both manifest a great deal of culture and sensitivity, and because of this, both seem out of place in Elysian Fields. "Beauty is shipwrecked on the rock of the world's vulgarity" (Miller 45). Blanche, of course, is much more of an anachronism than Stella, who has for the most part adapted to the
Each and every individual develops some sort of perspective and opinion on many different subjects, objects, and people throughout life. However, these perspectives are prone to change. The play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams is a great example of new outlooks on life making an effect on personal beliefs. It shows the denouement of two opposing perspectives and how they can eventually damage or even destroy an individual. Some ideas
Having a horrible past, Blanche is vulnerable to the others. To be left alone for a long time, calls for some attention to dress very "sexy" and cause her to "flirt" with others. For example, the loves Blanche has for men gets her in trouble as her relationships reflects her alcohol abusive and her past: QUOTE The desire to be with someone will make you do whatever it takes. Some women will go beyond their boundaries to get into a relationship. Just like Blanche, who manipulates Stanley to have a drink with her, even though he is dating Stella. The way Blanche sexually forces herself on men, exposes her vulnerability. Blanche compensates her lack of confidence and lack of self-estime by being all flirty and lovable to men. After losing someone special, our minds are not always on the right track, which leads to horrible actions, cause by loneliness. For example, Blanche flirts with a man that is not hers: "I loved someone, too, and the person I loved I lost," (Williams 1238). As a result, Blanche is very dependent on men, so when something terrible happens she becomes very sensitive. Furthermore her sensitivity could be associated with her unemployment, her husbands death and the loss of the Dubois home. Williams displays that one person can be very depressed and confused with their feelings, once a person has to deal with the grieving
In Tennessee William’s masterful play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the reader meets a middle – aged woman by the name of Blanche DuBois. Blanche lives in her own faerie tale world, one of a young, beautiful debutante, surrounded by admirers, and loved by all whom she encounters. In reality, Blanche is an aging woman who cannot cope with the actualities of life. She makes up wild stories, and when Stanley Kowalski, her brother – in – law, rapes her, the realities of life cause her to drift into absolute lunacy.
Blanche’s financial decline, illuminating her vulnerability, links to Aristotle’s theory that the tragic heroine must fall, allowing the audience to relate to her. Her insecurities – “I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare!” stereotypically reflects the insecurities women feel about their appearance and age. The uses of imperatives and exclamatory sentences suggests Blanche’s obsession over her appearance, a flaw leading her to dismiss her true identity. Her inability to avoid drink and her compulsive lies, demonstrated in her frequent references to Shep Huntleigh’s letters, makes her a more authentic woman than Stella, who is described by Williams as the “gentle, mild and contented one”. Blanche’s loss of identity, dominated by her homosexual husband’s suicide, exacerbates her solitude – “The boy-the boy died. (She sinks back down) I’m afraid I’m – going to be sick!” The fragmented, repetitive speech Blanche uses illustrates her guilt and pain, whilst the physical act of “sinking” highlights the extent of her regret, giving a sense of foreboding for her downfall. Her guilt is also exacerbated by the implied physical act at the end which shocks the contemporary audience, who would not sympathise with homosexuals, evoking pity and reinforcing that “Streetcar” is a tragedy for Blanche.
In A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche’s flaws that lead to her downfall are abundant. If we are to view Blanche Dubois as a tragic heroine, then it is in scene six that her tragic flaws are especially evident, and in particular desire. They are so prevalent here as it is arguably the beginning of Blanche’s demise and as in Shakespearean tragedy; it is in the centre of the play that we see the beginning of the protagonist’s downfall. Desire, as her harmartia, is represented in several ways in scene six.
2. Blanche is the protagonist, had a great tragedy in her early life. She fell in love young and married, and discovered her husband was gay. Shortly after, her husband died and left her a young widow. “And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that’s stronger than this—kitchen—candle.”(scene6) After her sister left, she had to take care of family members. Their deaths resulted in the loss of her familys Belle Reve, and Blanche being displaced and thrown into a society she did not understand. After all this tragedy, Blanche preferred to live in her own made up reality of denial where she is still the belle of the party; and life is full of small talk and manners. She tries to display herself as innocent.
The next major theme of the book is the relationship between sexuality and death. Blanche’s fear of death manifests itself in her fears of aging and of lost beauty. She refuses to tell anyone her true age or to appear in harsh light that will reveal her faded looks. She seems to believe that by continually asserting her sexuality, especially toward men younger than herself, she will be able to avoid death and return to the world of teenage bliss she experienced before her husband’s suicide. Blanche’s lifelong pursuit of her sexual desires has led to her eviction from Belle Reve, her ostracism from Laurel, and, at the end of the play, her expulsion from society at large. Sex leads to death for others Blanche knows as well. Throughout the play, Blanche is haunted by the deaths of her ancestors, which she attributes to their “epic fornications.” Her husband’s suicide results from her disapproval of his homosexuality.
The play A Streetcar Named Desire revolves around Blanche DuBois; therefore, the main theme of the drama concerns her directly. In Blanche is seen the tragedy of an individual caught between two worlds-the world of the past and the world of the present-unwilling to let go of the past and unable, because of her character, to come to any sort of terms with the present. The final result is her destruction. This process began long before her clash with Stanley Kowalski. It started with the death of her young husband, a weak and perverted boy who committed suicide when she taunted him with her disgust at the discovery of his perversion. In retrospect, she knows that he was the only man she had ever loved, and from this early catastrophe
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.
In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams explores the internal conflict of illusion versus reality through the characters. Humans often use illusion to save us pain and it allows us to enjoy pleasure instead. However, as illusion clashes with reality, one can forget the difference between the two. When people are caught up in their illusions, eventually they must face reality even if it is harsh. In the play, Blanche suffers from the struggle of what is real and what is fake because of the difficult events of her past. Blanche comes to her sister Stella seeking aid because she has lost her home, her job, and her family. To deal with this terrible part of her life, she uses fantasy to escape her dreadful reality. Blanche’s embracement of a fantasy world can be categorized by her attempts to revive her youth, her relationship struggles, and attempts to escape her past.
I would like to analyze a tragic heroine Blanche DuBois appearing in a play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) written by Tennessee Williams. My intention is to concentrate on the most significant features of her nature and behaviour and also on various external aspects influencing her life and resulting in her nervous breakdown. I would like to discuss many themes related to this character, such as loss, desire and longing for happiness, beauty and youth, pretension, lies and imagination, dependence on men and alcoholism.
Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire is a web of themes, complicated scenarios, and clashes between the characters. Therefore, it might’ve been somehow difficult to find out who the protagonist of this play is if it wasn’t for Aristotle’s ideas of a good tragedy because neither of the main characters, Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois, is completely good nor bad. According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a good tragedy requires the protagonist to undergo a change of status which only happens with Blanche Dubois.
Blanche deals with many issues the loss of loved ones, the loss of the family estate, the inability to deal with reality, rejection from others, and the rape by Stanley. Blanche has also become independent and assertive which is not the typical norm of a southern woman. She has been forced into a world she is not prepared for. Because of this Blanche begins to live in her own world, her own little fantasy. She also uses alcohol and sexual promiscuity to escape from the loneliness she has endured since her husband’s death. Williams shows us through the way Blanche speaks to the paper boy;
One of the roles of this excerpt is to provide the background towards understanding Blanche, and the justifications for her mental state and actions. It is evident that in the past she belonged to a higher class where extravagance was common. But when her family in