Theme Of Sympathy In A Streetcar Named Desire

1260 Words6 Pages
Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire leaves many readers with an ambivalence toward its main character. Torn opinions range from praising her as a lost soul who is victimized by her surroundings to incriminating her as a “fille de joie”. On one side, Williams prevents Blanche from being the tragic protagonist as a result of his own misogyny, which was ever so ingrained in his early life, and uses her victimization as an intentional stab at womanhood, especially that of the mid 1900’s. On the other side, Blanche’s downfall is a demonstration of William’s sympathy for her circumstances and uses it as a condemnation of the society that destroyed her. Despite such strong convictions and great disparity between to ends of the spectrum, William’s motives for Blanche are still unknown. Throughout the play, Williams sympathizes with Blanche, proving he is not misogynistic and instead condemns the social construct that brought about Blanche’s tragic circumstance. Sympathy for Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire is gained mainly from the many tragic experiences that have plagued her adulthood, beginning with the death of her husband Allan Grey. Ironically, this aspect of the play can also be used to demonize Blanche. Arguably, Williams believes that Blanche’s hateful behavior toward her husband and failure to give him the love he needed lead him to his suicide. ---------- Quote ----------. This quote posits that it was Blanche’s responsibility as a wife to rescue her husband from homosexuality. However, this claim completely disregards the trauma that Blanche had to face following his death. Williams implies that she had an overpowering love for Allan and that it may have been the last, true emotion to which she allowed herself to succumb. She refers to her “empty heart” (#) and regrettably mention “I loved someone too, and the person I loved I lost” (#). Blanche is clearly heartbroken, which Williams intentionally writes in order to evoke pity from the reader. Evidence also abounds that the traumatic death of her husband was the driving force in her downward spiral the eventually leads Blanche to the streetcar named Desire. The scandalous events that dive Blanche to rock bottom don’t begin until after
Get Access