“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
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
From the moment Mitch and Blanche met it was a strong connection, it had the sense of love, but that feeling of love changed to a feeling of betrayal and disgust; Once Mitch was informed of Blanche's web of lies and her horrible past. It started off with a little “fib” as Blanches says, about her age. From there it got worse, she betrayed Mitch by breaking his trust because she never told him about her dirty past. Blanche tried to cover it up by putting a filter over her personality, and that filter was her long gone southern morals. She had tried to hide her bad past from just lying to Mitch and deceiving him, acting as if he wasn't smart enough to find out. But the time did come for Mitch to find out about this ultimate betrayal of his trust, and once mitch confirmed the information about Blanche's past ; that feeling of love transformed to rear its ugly head of deception to symbolize what his relationship with Miss Blanche Dubois really was; just a
Another way in which desire is presented as a tragic flaw in scene six is through the “nervous gesture” which Blanche makes upon Mitch asking “How old are you?”, revealing to us her desire for youth and the fact she is trying to combat an un-evadable higher power. This relates again to the idea of inevitability and the symbol of the street car, as the streetcar is bound to its tracks and has one eventual end. In the same way Blanche is bound to her fate that lead to her unavoidable end. Her desire for youth is directly juxtaposed to Mitch’s dying mother, who shows us the inevitable link between age and death which foreshadows Blanche’s demise.
He abuses his wife Stella physically and emotionally as he strikes and hits his pregnant wife while Stella represents the self-deprecating, submissive wife who tolerates and excuses her husband behavior. Another central theme in Williams’ play is the theme of illusion; Blanche lives in a fantasy world of sentimental illusion. She exerts efforts to maintain the appearance of being an upper-class young innocent woman, even though she is a fallen woman. Another theme is the theme of loneliness as Blanche is lost and alone in the world and she desperately seeks protection and companionship in the arms of strangers. Mitch is another character who is a victim of loneliness and he needs to find a woman to love him the way his mother does. The theme of sexual desire is related to destruction. Blanche wants to be a lady but she continually tripped up by her sexual desire. Stanley leads a violent brutal desire and views Stella as a sexual object and his final act as he rapes Blanche emphasizes his lustful desire. The theme of hatred is prevailed throughout the play as Blanche’s insult and insolence aroused the hatred of Stanley. The play focused on the feeling of repulsion between
of scene 2; she says, "I ought to go [to the sky] on a rocket that
The play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, is a play about a woman named Blanche Dubois who goes to live with her sister after she loses her home in Mississippi. Between the hardships of her previous life and the way she is treated now, she is not in a good way by the time the play ends. She basically has a mental breakdown. There are three stages of Blanche’s mental state. She lives in a fantasy, Mitch rejecting her, and Stanley raping her, Blanche is mentally unstable by the end of this ply.
When Blanche meets Mitch, she realises that her is someone who can give her a sense of belonging and who is also captivated by her “girlish” charms. She deceives him into thinking her, as she would like to be –prim and proper – however, as she later tells Mitch: “Inside, I never lied”. Her essential nature and being have been changed by her promiscuity – She gave her body to any man, but it would appear, that to Mitch, she is ready to give her whole being. Mitch falls in love with Blanches world of
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;
Blanche's tragic flaw that cause her downfall or hamartia is her reliant on men, so much so that she makes choices and does things that are morally questionable. She manipulates and lies to potential suitors to make herself seem more attractive and younger-which in her mind is the only way a man will love her. She does this with Harold "Mitch" Mitchell and it seems to be working until Mitch is informed of all the lies he's been fed, at which point Mitch breaks up with Blanche and leaves her vulnerable for Stanley to
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
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
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.
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.
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