A Street Car Named Desire by Tennesse William Essay

A Street Car Named Desire by Tennesse William Essay

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Tennessee William’s, A Street Car Named Desire, presents us with Blanche Dubois, a former high school English Teacher and proprietor of her family’s home the Belle Reve. Blanche is an agent of her destruction, which causes her continuous misfortune, and leads her to an emotional collapse and her incarceration in a mental institution. This is manifested through her numerous lies, alcoholism, desire to look young and sexual tendencies.
Blanche’s destruction begins during her career as a high school English teacher. She is an older woman who has lost her family’s estate and her husband to suicide. At this point in her life is considered to be a fallen woman in society. She has nothing left and has little opportunity to remarry due to her age. To fill this gap in her love life and desire to be young, Blanche has an affair with a 17 year old student which causes her to get fired. However, this isn’t the only time where Blanche tries to preserve her juvenescence. She is constantly bathing to “calm” her nerves and she says “a women’s charm is fifty percent illusion,” (Williams 41) referring to her clothing and looks. Without these things Blanche’s life is not worth living. The excessive baths are a way for Blanche to cleanse herself from her problems, including drinking and her promiscuity.
Truly with nothing, Blanche goes to Elysian Fields to visit her sister. However, Blanche’s surprise visit isn’t well taken by her brother in law Stanley Kowalski, who suspects that Blanche isn’t telling the truth about her visit. First of all, Blanche lies about her alcoholism, Stanley asks her if she wants a shot, and Blanche replies, BLANCHE: “no, I-rarely touch it.” (2.7) However, Stanley says back, STANLEY: “some people rarely touch it, but i...


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...s my limit” (1.111). when she is offered another drink. In reality, Blanche doesn’t have one drink but rather one bottle, when no one is watching her. Her “bad luck” continues when she think she may have found a new man to take care of her and Stanley puts an end to it, to protect his friend from Blanche’s hunger for happiness.
At the end of play, when Blanche is being taken away to the insane asylum, we can assume that her condition is permanent. She has suffered with dependence of alcohol, desire and lies. She needed the alcohol to make her confident in herself which lead to her lying to male suitors to make her more desirable, thus, filling the gap of dependence on men for compliments and overall happiness. Moreover, without her constant incoming compliments and interests by male suitors she could no longer function in life, which allowed her to self-destruct.

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