Blanches Tragedy A Streetcar Named Desire

This essay has a total of 1019 words and 5 pages.

Blanches Tragedy a streetcar named desire



Blanche, Stella's older sister, until recently a high school English teacher in
Laurel, Mississippi. She arrives in New Orleans a loquacious, witty,
arrogant, fragile, and ultimately crumbling figure. Blanche once was
married to and passionately in love with a tortured young man. He killed
himself after she discovered his homosexuality, and she has suffered from
guilt and regret ever since. Blanche watched parents and relatives, all the
old guard, die off, and then had to endure foreclosure on the family estate.
Cracking under the strain, or perhaps yielding to urges so long suppressed
that they now could no longer be contained, Blanche engages in a series of
sexual escapades that trigger an expulsion from her community. In New
Orleans she puts on the airs of a woman who has never known indignity,
but Stanley sees through her. Her past catches up with her and destroys
her relationship with Mitch. Stanley, as she fears he might, destroys what's
left of her. At the end of the play she is led away to an insane asylum.
This is indeed the story of what happened to Blanche in the play but what
flaws in her own character were to blame for her subsequent tragedy.
Blanche is by far the most complex character of the play. An intelligent
and sensitive woman who values literature and the creativity of the human
imagination, she is also emotionally traumatised and repressed. This gives
license for her own imagination to become a haven for her pain. One
senses that Blanches own view of her real self as opposed to her ideal self
has been increasingly blurred over the years until it is sometimes difficult
for her to tell the difference. It is a challenge to find the key to Blanche's
melancholy but perhaps the roots of her trauma lie in her early marriage.
She was haunted by her inability to help or understand her young, troubled
husband and that she has tortured herself for it ever since. Her drive to lose
herself in the "kindness of strangers" might also be understood from this
period in that her sense of confidence in her own feminine attraction was
shaken by the knowledge of her husband's homosexuality and she is driven
to use her sexual charms to attract men over and over. Yet, beneath all
this, there is a desire to find a companion, to find fulfilment in love. She is
not successful because of her refusal or inability to face reality, in her
circumstances and in herself.
Blanche has a hard time confronting her mixed desires and therefore is
never able to sort them out and deal with them. She wants a cultured man
but is often subconsciously attracted to strong, basic male characters,
perhaps a response to her marriage with a cultured, sensitive man which
ended in disaster.
So although Blanche dislikes Stanley as a person, she is drawn to him as a
type of man who is resoundingly heterosexual and who is strong enough to
protect her from an increasingly harsh world. This seems to be the

reason for her brief relationship with Mitch, but it becomes clear to
Blanche that Stanley is the dominant male here and she

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