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.
Blanche repeatedly lied to make herself look pure to others. It only served as a masquerade to hide her dirty, sinful reality. She lied about her age, alcoholism, promiscuity, and why she had to leave Laurel. When Stanley asked her if she wanted a shot, she replied, “No, I—rarely touch it” (Scene 1, page 1548). She could not confront her reality, so she retreated to her world of illusion. This was Blanche’s most prominent flaw. If she could have accepted things for what they are, she could have salvaged her sanity. If, from the beginning, she had been truthful to Stanley’s friend Mitch, he could have forgiven her. Dismally, Mitch would not trust her after finding out everything she said was fabricated. “I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it” (Scene 9, page 1590). Blanche feared lights which symbolized her fear of reality. She claimed that with Alan’s death, all light had gone out of her life. “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.”
In Tennessee Williams’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois’s personality is built around false pretenses in order to protect herself from facing the reality and the consequences of her actions. However, her downfall is brought about as a result of her inability to cope with reality after the truth about her is revealed, which contributes to the play’s pessimistic take on the worth of dreams, as well as its criticism on the inherent flaws of deception.
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
"A Streetcar Named Desire" is one of the most renowned 20th century American plays and films. The playwright is Tennessee Williams, a respected author whose works artistic and structural merit warrants their study into the 21st century. There are numerous aspects and points Williams makes with his works, including "A Streetcar Named Desire." Out of the richness this text offers, this paper will focus upon issues of mental illness and abuse in the play. No doubt an aspect that makes Williams' characters so vivid are their flaws, weaknesses, and desires. Where a person's character lacks weakness and what a person desires reveal a great deal about that person and provide insight into the choices they make. The paper will discuss aspects of abuse and mental instability in the characters and plot of "A Streetcar Named Desire," and will reference the play directly to underscore any points.
Blanche’s guilt, the principal force driving her downfall, stems from her involvement in the circumstances surrounding her husband Allan’s suicide. After finding her husband with
Furthermore, Blanche claims to have an old friendship with a man who is now a millionaire, a certain Mr. Shep Huntleigh. She believes that if she needs help at any m point in time, especially monetary aid, “darling Shep” will be there to cable in some money. Shep Huntleigh represents Blanche’s idea of the perfect man, a rich, debonair, suave gentleman. She sees Stanley as everything but that perfect man, cruel to her sister and even crueler to herself. Blanche constantly claims she is going to go off and see Shep, and after Mitch reveals his knowledge of the truth about her, she claims she is going to spend a month or so abroad. “I received a telegram from an old admirer of mine,” she claims, “A cruise of the Caribbean on a yacht!” However, Stanley crushes her spirit almost immediately, tearing her fanciful dreams apart into ragged threads. “There isn’t a goddam thing but imagination!” he screams. It is Stanley who refuses to let Blanche live in a dream world.
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
In the opening two scenes of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams, the audience has its first and generally most important impressions formulated on characters, the plot and the mood and tone of the play overall.
She tries to hold on to him but is unable to keep him attracted. Blanche is lost, confused, conflicted, lashing out in sexual ways, and living in her out own fantasies. She has no concern for anyone’s well being, including her own. Thus, this is her utter most harmful demise. She has no realistic outlook for the future.
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
According to Sigmund Freud, there are three different systems in the human brain, all developing at different times. The id, ego and superego are the three different systems that determine your personality. Stanley Kowalski is one of the main characters in A Streetcar Named Desire and Stella’s husband. The id is the impulsive part of the personality and develops when children are infants. The id has no control over decisions and does not understand the effects afterwards.
My written task is letter of emendation sent by the editor of Motion Pictures Association of America to the authors Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams concerning the screen adaptation of the play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The letter demonstrates the concepts involved in the play as well as the relation to the context of the English Language and Literature course.
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.
Throughout the whole play of Streetcar Named Desire, several different characters including: Stella, Stanley, Blanche, and Mitch struggle with family acceptance, marriage, abuse and love. Stella and Blanche are most often seen as the receivers of all the negativity from the much stronger masculine men. Tennessee Williams portrayed the women as very weak and submissive to Stanley following almost anything he said. All the characters we are introduced to in Streetcar suffer from their own weakness or their non authentic lives. If all these foreign personalities are brought together and cause problems, what is the purpose Williams wanted to make?