A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams Essay

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams Essay

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Blanche the true character

n Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the nature of theatricality, “magic,”
and “realism,” all stem from the tragic character, Blanche DuBois. Blanche is both a
theatricalizing and self-theatricalizing woman. She lies to herself as well as to others in order
to recreate the world as it should be—in line with her high-minded sensibilities. To that
extent, much of her creations arise from a longing for the past, nostalgia for her lost love,
her dignity, and her purpose in life. She is haunted by the ghosts of what she has lost, and
the genteel society of her Belle Reve, her own beautiful dream. Blanche arrives at Stella’s
doorstep with, essentially, a trunk full of costumes from her past. She is intensely
self-conscious and a performer in the utmost sense. We meet Blanche at a point in her life
where few, if any, of her actions do not seem contrived or performed to some extent.
In Scene 3 of Act I, she produces a small performance for her suitor, Mitch, in her efforts to
seduce him. She turns on the radio for soundtrack, directs Mitch to “…turn on the light above
now!” and exclaims, “Oh, look! We’ve made enchantment (39)!” as she dances away as the
self-cast star of the impromptu performance. Stella applauds from the sidelines as her audience, and Mitch sings and sways to the music. This caricature of a production is repeated in Scene 1 of Act II, where Blanche assigns roles to others as well. With her slightly unwilling newspaper collector, she attempts to set the mood as narrator of sorts. While he answers her request for the time promptly, Blanche chooses to meander into a dreamy digression—“So late? Don’t you just love these long rain...


... middle of paper ...


.... Though the bathroom houses a temporary reprieve from reality, the boundary between fantasy and reality is essentially permeable on all levels—in both the physical and psychological realms, between the apartment and the street, and within the two-room apartment as well.
While fantasy and theatricality begin with Blanche, they do not end with her departure in the play. As Blanche leaves with the doctor, Stella is still living in denial. “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley!” she tells Eunice beforehand. Stella chooses to live with herself and Stanley by telling herself a much greater lie than any ever concocted by her sister. The necessity of fantasy in handling reality is reinforced a final time, as Eunice assures Stella, “Don’t you ever believe it. You’ve got to keep on goin’, honey. No matter what happens, we’ve all got to keep on going.”



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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams Essay

- Blanche the true character n Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the nature of theatricality, “magic,” and “realism,” all stem from the tragic character, Blanche DuBois. Blanche is both a theatricalizing and self-theatricalizing woman. She lies to herself as well as to others in order to recreate the world as it should be—in line with her high-minded sensibilities. To that extent, much of her creations arise from a longing for the past, nostalgia for her lost love, her dignity, and her purpose in life....   [tags: blanche, nature, realism]

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