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A Streetcar on the Tracks of Despair Essay examples

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Grief is an element of life that no one truly learns how to master, people just learn how to cope. However, in Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the Character Blanche has succumbed to grief, and has lost touch with reality. As the play progresses, you find out a key factor in Blanche’s awkward nature and you learn about the circumstances to her husband Allan’s death. It is discovered that she finds her husband in a homosexual relationship and she calls him disgusting. In the end of their relationship, they are dancing the Varsouvian polka, when he runs from the dance floor and commits suicide. From this point in her life, she begins a steady tumble into despair and mishaps. In “There Are Lives That Desire Does Not Sustain: A Streetcar Named Desire”, by Calvin Bedient, he explains how Blanche’s actions contradict her false appearances and are used to cover guilt. Contrasting this view, George Hovis, author of “‘Fifty Percent Illusion’: The Mask of the Southern Belle in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and ‘Portrait of a Madonna’”, he suggests that Blanche uses her lies to protect herself from harm rather than to make her appear more elegant. The Varsouvian Polka is a central symbol that represents Blanche’s loss of touch with reality, brought on by the loss of her husband, and her dependency on men that triggered her downfall.
After Blanche loses her husband, her life spirals down in every matter. Soon after death, Blanche begins to seek help in all the wrong places. Rather than seeking professional help, she relies on relationships with other men, and when one is over, she moves on to another. This trend leads to her developing a reputation in her small town of being promiscuou...


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...is empty from the loss of her husband. Blanche maybe the definition of crazy but she is so in her own, elegant way.



Works Cited

Bedient, Calvin. "There Are Lives That Desire Does Not Sustain: A Streetcar Named

Desire." Confronting Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire: Essays in
Cultural Pluralism. 45-58. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1993. MLA International
Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
Booth, Alison, andKelly J. Mays, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Norton Introduction to
Literature. Peter Simon. New York W.W. Norton & Company, 2010, P.1804-1867.
Hovis, George. "'Fifty Percent Illusion': The Mask of the Southern Belle in Tennessee
Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and 'Portrait of a
Madonna'." Tennessee Williams Literary Journal 5.1 (2003): 11-22. MLA
International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.


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