A Streetcar Named Desire is a play of multifaceted themes and diverse characters with the main antagonists of the play, Blanche and Stanley infused by their polarized attitudes towards reality and society ‘structured on the basis of the oppositions past/present and paradise lost/present chaos’(*1). The effect of these conflicting views is the mental deterioration of Blanche’s cerebral health that, it has been said; Stanley an insensitive brute destroyed Blanche with cruel relish and is the architect of her tragic end. However, due to various events in the play this statement is open to question, for instance, the word ‘insensitive’ is debatable, ‘insensitive’ can be defined as not thinking of other people’s feelings but Stanley is aware of
The loss of Belle Reve may provide as symbolic in regards to Blanche, as it translates to beautiful dream, this infuses the character with a sense of hopelessness and tragedy and her arrival in Elysian Fields makes this even more potent. Whilst Blanche informs Stella of the loss of Belle Reve, she appears noticeably anxious, particular when she ‘begins to shake with intensity. In addition, her descriptions of the loss are exaggerative and convey rather ominous imagery, such as the ‘Grim Reaper’ putting up ‘tent’ on her doorstep. This potentially shows the extent to which these events affected Blanche’s mental stability or, they may also indicate a fear of death, for it may provide eternal loneliness which would naturally disconcert Blanche.
‘A Streetcar named Desire,’ is an interesting play, by Tennessee Williams. The character 'Blanche DuBois' is created to evoke sympathy, as the story follows her tragic deterioration in the months she lived with her sister Stella, and brother-in-law Stanley. After reading the play, I saw Blanche as the victim of Stanley's aggressive ways, and I also saw her as a hero in my eyes.
“Tragic characters are “efficient” only in courting, suffering and encompassing their own destruction.” (Gassner 463). Fitting Gassner’s definition of a tragic character, Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire caustically leads herself to her own downfall. In the beginning of the play, Blanche DuBois, a “belle of the old South” (Krutch 40), finds herself at the footsteps of her sister and brother-in-law’s shabby apartment in New Orleans. Although DuBois portrays herself as a refined and sophisticated woman, the reader soon comes to realize that, hiding beneath all the pearls and jewels, is a raw and unstable character. Not only does she harbor fatal flaws of loneliness, alcoholism, and pride, the influence of her
Similarly, Blanche Dubois has some of the same characteristics as Willy Lowman. She lies about the reason for her coming to visit her sister. Blanche said," I was so exhausted by all I'd been through my-nerves broke. [ nervously tampering cigarette] I was on the verge of-lunacy, almost! So Mr. Graves-Mr. Graves is the high school superintendent- he suggested I take a leave of absence. I couldn't put all those details into the wire . . . [She drinks quickly.] Oh, this buzzes right through me and feels so good!" (Tennessee Williams, page 1120). Later on the story, we discover that Blanche had a sexual altercation with a student and that was her cause for leaving town. Also, Blanche likes to keep up with her self-appearance. Therefore, she flaunts
Tennessee Williams was once quoted as saying "Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama...the purest language of plays" (Adler 30). This is clearly evident in A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Williams's many plays. In analyzing the main character of the story, Blanche DuBois, it is crucial to use both the literal text as well as the symbols of the story to get a complete and thorough understanding of her.
"Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire is to some extent living an unreal existence," according to Jonathan Briggs, book critic for the Clay County Freepress. In Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the readers are introduced to a character named Blanche DuBois. Blanche is Stella's younger sister who has come to visit Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans. After their first meeting Stanley develops a strong dislike for Blanche and for everything associated with her. Among the things Stanley dislikes about Blanche are her "spoiled-girl" manners and her indirect and quizzical way of conversing. Stanley also believes that Blanche has conned him and
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.
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
At the onset of the Play, Dubois arrives in New Orleans where she intends to stay with her estranged sister, Stella Kowalski. There is something timid about her demeanor, characterized by great “uncertainty” (Williams 15), suggesting the immediate apprehension Blanche experiences subsequently after arriving in New Orleans. Consequently, Williams immediately places an emphasis on the significance of her apprehension which begins to unveil itself as the narrative progresses. Prior to illustrating this, it is important to understand Blanche’s rationale for leaving her ancestral lands. As aforementioned earlier, the Civil War and the subsequent cultural transformation of the United States alienated women like Dubois; moreover, ill-equipped to deviate from the rigid conservative ideals that Southern Belles were raised with followed by the incumbency to abandon her formerly held ideals in the midst of cultural change, Dubois is compelled to abandon the decrepit ideals of the Old South and to establish a new life for herself. However, this proves to be a difficult endeavor for Dubois as she embodies the vestiges of the Old South in New Orleans which forms her identity. Firstly, racist attitudes towards those who were not of white skin colour dominated the Old South; moreover, Dubois echoes her intolerance towards other races in several instances. At the outset of the play, Williams introduces the notion of racial tolerance in New Orleans through the stage direction of an “easy intermingling of races” (Williams 13). Moreover, Dubois is immediately confronted by this intermingling (alien to her) as she takes notice of a black woman nonchalantly and joyously conversing with Eunice Hubbell, a white woman. In the Old South, this would have been unheard of as plantation workers were expected to work diligently and without question. Dubois still conforms to the Southern Belle archetype as she expects the black woman to find Stella Kowalski for her on the basis of skin colour. This event lays the foundation for her psychological dilapidation as it is the initial experience that questions her psyche and everything it believes. The culmination of racial tension in Dubois’ psyche ultimately impels her to express her disdain for
Established as one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century, Tennessee Williams used his writing as a form of therapy. The author came from a troubled background consisting of alcoholism, mental breakdowns, and general unhappiness; Williams exploited these unfortunate events and allowed them to motivate his literature. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois’ struggles represent the reality of people’s lives, “an enduring concern of [Williams’] throughout his writing career (Henthorne 1). Blanche captures our focus with her seemingly sincere and fragile nature, but it is later revealed that this is just an illusion within her own mind. She resides in a world of fantasy to shield herself against the harsh threats of reality and her own fears. Blanche’s main objective in the play is to keep herself from falling apart in a world of cruelty through alcoholism and illusion. Through the characterization of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams depicts the coping mechanism of fantasy and its detrimental repercussions by exploring the specific experiences that eventually impede her happiness.
A Streetcar Named Desire is an intricate web of complex themes and conflicted characters. Set in the pivotal years immediately following World War II, Tennessee Williams infuses Blanche and Stanley with the symbols of opposing class and differing attitudes towards sex and love, then steps back as the power struggle between them ensues. Yet there are no clear cut lines of good vs. evil, no character is neither completely good nor bad, because the main characters, (especially Blanche), are so torn by conflicting and contradictory desires and needs. As such, the play has no clear victor, everyone loses something, and this fact is what gives the play its tragic cast. In a
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.
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.
While watching A Streetcar named Desire, the character of Blanche Dubois at first appeared to be a weak self-absorbed southern woman, when really what started coming from her character was a flawed personality. What is not known is whether this is something that runs in the family, or has only shown itself through Blanche. Since this was during a time when mental illness was not yet studied deeply, the way Blanche is treated while succumbing to her illness and how she was sent off to the mental hospital was rather archaic. Blanche is the central character and the movie shows her spiraling down into the abyss of mental illness apparently escalated by the loss of family, her home and the treatment by Stanley.