The Down Fall of Rose Williams and Blanche DuBois

2672 Words 11 Pages
Tennessee Williams is known to be a Southern playwright of American drama. Williams knew how to show haunting elements like psychological drama, loneliness, and inexcusable violence in his plays. Critics say Williams often depicted women who were suffering from critical downfalls due to his sister Rose Williams. Rose was always fighting with a mental health condition known as schizophrenia all her life. The character Laura in The Glass Menagerie is always compared to Rose, because they were both socially awkward and very quiet girls. This may be true, but one can look at Blanche DuBois from A Street Car Named Desire shadows his sister’s life and characteristics more than Laura did. In the obituary of Rose Williams that was written by …show more content…
During a party when Rose was twenty-six, Williams went off on her by saying, “I hate the sight of your ugly old face” (Hoare)! Rose’s illness made her become delusional and a compulsive liar. This disgusted Williams for this was not the sister he knew. Williams never really understood his sister’s illness. Rose’s schizophrenia only got worse as time went on. Finally, her parents felt she was not fit for society in her state. Rose was taken to the State Hospital in Farmington where doctors performed a bilateral prefrontal lobotomy. Tennessee Williams regrets to not stopping the lobotomy, because his sister was never the same again and never recovered. Due to the regret, Williams financed his sister’s private care until his death in 1983. Even though the siblings had a very dysfunctional relationship; Tennessee shows the haunting and suffering he felt in his plays due to his sister’s illness. Williams first introduces Blanche DuBois in the play with the following description, “She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party” (Williams 15). This description depicts Blanche as a high society woman and could do better than living in New Orleans. Blanche is only putting on airs from this description. This means that she is faking her higher class status; in reality what she is wearing is