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Essay on Stella and Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

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Stella and Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire


   The two important female characters in the "poetic tragedy"(Adler 12), A Streetcar Named Desire, are Stella and Blanche. The most obvious comparison between Stella and Blanche is that they are sisters, but this blood relationship suggests other similarities between the two women. They are both part of the final generation of a once aristocratic but now moribund family. Both manifest a great deal of culture and sensitivity, and because of this, both seem out of place in Elysian Fields. "Beauty is shipwrecked on the rock of the world's vulgarity" (Miller 45).  Blanche, of course, is much more of an anachronism than Stella, who has for the most part adapted to the environment of Stanley Kowalski. Finally, both Stella and Blanche are or have been married. It is in their respective marriages that we can begin to trace the profound differences between these two sisters.

Where Blanche's marriage, to a man whom she dearly loved (Miller 43), proved catastrophic to her, Stella's marriage seems to be fulfilling her...


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