"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
"Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" is to some extent living an unreal existence." Jonathan Briggs, book critic for the Clay County Freepress.
In Tennessee Williams\' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" the readers are introduced to a character named Blanche DuBois. Blanche is Stella\'s younger sister who has come to visit Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans. After their first meeting Stanley develops a strong dislike for Blanche and everything associated with her. Among the things Stanley dislikes about Blanche are her "spoiled-girl" manners and her indirect and quizzical way of conversing. Stanley also believes that Blanche has conned him and his wife out of the family mansion. In his opinion, she is a good-for-nothing "leech" that has attached itself to his household, and is just living off him. Blanche\'s lifelong habit of avoiding unpleasant realities leads to her breakdown as seen in her irrational response to death, her dependency, and her inability to defend herself from Stanley\'s attacks.
Blanche’s situation with her husband is the key to her later behavior. She married rather early at the age of sixteen to whom a boy she believed was a perfect gentleman. He was sensitive, understanding, and civilized much like herself coming from an aristocratic background. She was truly in love with Allen whom she considered perfect in every way. Unfortunately for her he was a homosexual. As she caught him one evening in their house with an older man, she said nothing, permitting her disbelief to build up inside her. Sometime later that evening, while the two of them were dancing, she told him what she had seen and how he disgusted her. Immediately, he ran off the dance floor and shot himself, with the gunshot forever staying in Blanche’s mind. After that day, Blanche believed that she was really at fault for his suicide. She became promiscuous, seeking a substitute men (especially young boys), for her dead husband, thinking that she failed him sexually. Gradually her reputation as a whore built up and everyone in her home town knew about her. Even for military personnel at the near-by army base, Blanche\'s house became out-of-bounds. Promiscuity though wasn\'t the only problem she had. Many of the aged family members died and the funeral costs had to be covered by Blanche\'s modest salary. The deaths were long, disparaging and horrible on someone like Blanche. She was forced to mortgage the mansion, and soon the bank repossessed it.
At school, where Blanche taught English, she was dismissed because of an incident she had with a seventeen-year-old student that reminded her of her late husband. Even the management of the hotel Blanche stayed in during her final days in Laurel, asked her to leave because of the all the different men that had been seeing there. All of this, cumulatively, weakened Blanche, turned her into an alcoholic, and lowered her mental stability bit-by-bit.
Her husband\'s death affects her greatly and determines her behavior from then on. Having lost Allan, who meant so much to her, she needs to fill her empty heart, and so she turns to a lifestyle of one-night-stands with strangers. She tries to comfort herself from not being able to satisfy Allan, and so Blanche makes an effort to satisfy strangers, thinking that they need her and that she can\'t fail them like she failed Allan.
At the same time she turns to alcohol to avoid the brutality of death. The alcohol seems to ease her through the memories of the night of Allan\'s death. Overtime the memory comes back to her, the musical tune from the incident doesn\'t end in her mind until she has something alcoholic to drink. All of these irrational responses to death seem to signify how Blanche\'s mind is unstable, and yet she tries to still be the educated, well-mannered, and attractive person that Mitch first sees her as. She tries to not let the horridness come out on top of her image, wanting in an illusive and magical world instead.
The life she desires though is not what she has and ends up with. Already in New Orleans, once she meets Stanley, Blanche is driven to get out of the house. She needs get away from Stanley for she feels that a Kowalski
View Full Essay
Fiction, Theatre, Entertainment, English-language films, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois, The Golden Girls, Folle blanche, Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski
More Free Essays Like This