Blanche Dubois: A Tragic Hero Essay

Blanche Dubois: A Tragic Hero Essay

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Throughout Tennessee William’s play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Blanche Dubois exemplified several tragic flaws. She suffered from her haunting past; her inability to overcome; her desire to be someone else; and from the cruel, animalistic treatment she received from Stanley. Sadly, her sister Stella also played a role in her downfall. All of these factors ultimately led to Blanche’s tragic breakdown in the end.
Blanche could not accept her past and overcome it. She was passionately in love with Alan; but after discovering that he was gay, she could not stomach the news. When she revealed how disgusted she was, it prompted Alan to commit suicide. She could never quite overcome the guilt and put it behind her. Blanche often encountered flashbacks about him. She could hear the gun shot and polka music in her head. After Alan’s death, she was plagued by the deaths of her relatives. Stella moved away and did not have to deal with the agony Blanche faced each day. Blanche was the one who stuck it out with her family at Belle Reve where she had to watch as each of her remaining family members passed away. “I took the blows in my face and my body! All of those deaths! The long parade to the graveyard! Father, Mother! Margaret, that dreadful way! You just came home in time for the funerals, Stella. And funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths—not always” (Scene 1, page 1546). Blanche lost Belle Reve because of all the funeral expenses. Belle Reve had been in her family for generations, and it slipped through her fingers while she watched helplessly. Blanche’s anguish caused her loneliness. The loneliness fueled her abundance of sexual encounters. Her rendezvous just added to her problems and dirtied her rep...


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... ignorance; and this was the undeniable tragedy that caused her downfall in the end. Stanley was angry when Blanche told Stella that she did not like him, but he never gave her a chance. Stanley despised her from the beginning. Neither Stanley nor Mitch was intelligent enough to comprehend that not everything is black and white. They perceived her as a deceitful whore. Stella chose her violent husband over her sister. Also, Mitch could not overlook her mistakes. Mitch focused on her flaws which blinded him from seeing the beauty and love Blanche had to offer. Blanche wanted their love, but each of their individual flaws sunk her deeper into a hole. The people around Blanche were unwilling to change and develop an open-minded way of dealing with her situation. Blanche needed kindness and affection, but nobody was able to give it to her when she needed it the most.

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