Blanche Dubois In Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire

Decent Essays
The way individuals perceive themselves is powerful as it not only impacts their own behavior but the attitude with which others receive them. Thus, there is a universal truth to this simple phrase: you are what you think. In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois fully epitomizes a damsel in distress struggling with the baggage of her past. Having faced rough circumstances, her loneliness leads her into a world of fantasy where she can play the role of a Southern belle, pure and fragile. Unfortunately, masking the true circumstances of her present only works for so long; in the end, she finds herself as the tragic heroine of Williams’ tale, bound to fall from grace. Therefore, in A Streetcar Named Desire the character…show more content…
However, even at the start of the play, it is clear that Blanche is trying to veil her true self, as she instructs Stella to close the lights in order to hide from their “merciless glare” (Williams, 1947, p. 11). Since Blanche does come off as vain, the darkness represents her inability to accept her own mortality and her desire to remain youthful. However, there is more to Blanche then simple narcissism – she holds herself in high regard because she was raised that way. Williams’ use of Belle Reve as the DuBois’ ancestral home symbolizes the root of Blanche’s illusions. Furthermore, it is Blanche’s experiences that cause her to regard reality with distaste. Though Stella is able to escape Belle Reve, Blanche remains as her family slowly dies off one by one - leaving the financial and emotional expense upon her shoulders – and as her young husband takes his life at the hands of her own thoughtless words. Finally, the loss of Belle Reve, her last beacon of hope, pushes her over the edge. Facing the slow, agonizing deaths of her family and the loneliness that ensues from her young husband’s departure takes an emotional toll on Blanche. She uses alcohol and sexual relations as a way to detach herself from facing the situation as it was. It allows her to forget the sadness and guilt. However, Blanche still comes off as a relatable, kindred…show more content…
Only those that have a clear idea of their own strength are able to manage such circumstances. At the heart of Blanche’s conflict is herself and unable to find the strength within herself to take control of her life, and when the person she idealizes unravels, so does she. Furthermore, her desire to conceal certain aspects of her identity unjustly attract the attention of the animalistic Stanley, who uses violence as a mean of subduing her. Thus, an individual who is convinced that they are one way may neglect reality leading to their ultimate
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