Essay on Stagnant Lives in Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie

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Stagnant Lives in Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie

The Stagnant Lives of Blanche DuBois and Amanda Wingfield "All of Williams' significant characters are pathetic victims--of time, of their own passions, of immutable circumstance" (Gantz 110). This assessment of Tennessee Williams' plays proves true when one looks closely at the characters of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie. Their lives run closely parallel to one another in their respective dramas. They reject their present lives, yet their methods of escape are dissimilar. Both women have lost someone they cared for, and so seek to hold, and unintentionally suffocate, those they have left.

A major
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This loss and the subsequent loss of her teaching position cause her to seek out her married sister, Stella.

When she arrives at Elysian Fields, she quickly realizes that her sister's home is not the haven she imagined it to be, but an entire different world that is totally unfamiliar to her. This realization, combined with the loss of Allan, causes her to cling desperately to her sister. She even goes so far as attempting to persuade Stella away from her husband, a plan that backfires, leaving Blanche more alone than ever. "The suffering and erosion of the past leave her with an incapacity for the present (Gilman 148).

Like Blanche's Belle Reve, the lost home of Amanda's youth, Blue Mountain, is forever on her mind, with its fairy-tale existence of governor's balls and gentlemen callers. "She floats in a mist of old recollections of gentle grace and decorum" (Clurman) Also similar to Blanche, Amanda has lost her husband. However, Amanda's spouse does not die; he deserts her and her two children. This event does not seem to scar her emotionally as the loss of Allan did Blanche because, "though deeply hurt be his desertion, Amanda considers her erstwhile husband the embodiment of romance, associating him with the happy time of her life at Blue Mountain" (Tischier 319). The small fatherless family now lives in the cramped apartment with only a
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