Blanche's State of Mind in Tennessee Williams’ Play, A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche's State of Mind in Tennessee Williams’ Play, A Streetcar Named Desire

Length: 963 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Blanches state of mind essay
In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, main character Blanche Dubois to begin with seems to be a nearly perfect model of a classy woman whose social interaction, life and behavior are based upon her sophistication. The play revolves around her, therefore the main theme of drama concerns her directly. In Blanche is seen the misfortune of a person caught between two worlds-the world of the past and the world of the present-unwilling to let go of the past and unable, because of her character, to come to any sort of terms with the present.
Symbolism is greatly used in the play to emphasize Blanche’s mental instability, this is most evidently found in the use of colors and shading. The first example of this is in both her name Blanche Dubois, which in French means white and her last name woods, this translates to ‘white woods’ and the fact that she dresses entirely in white upon her arrival. The color white symbolizes, purity, health and virginity, which in spite of the irony, this is the image she attempts to exhibit. This is her trying to appear new and fresh. There is noticeable symbolism that metaphorically taints this white purity, such of that in scene five when Blanche spills coke on her white dress. She frantically tries to remove it, she wishes to remove this so it doesn’t stain her. Like she sees how her past has. The fact that she has slept with so many men and this spill shows how she is in fact corrupt and stained with her past. This symbolism is an early suspicion to her insanity and promiscuous past which is only unraveled later in the play. We as such may not intentionally see this from the start. Only the illusory image, which she tries to create for herself, suggests the...


... middle of paper ...


... coming to terms with reality.
To conclude, the author portrays Blanche’s deteriorating mental state throughout the play and by the end it has disappeared, she is in such a mental state that doctors take her away. Even at this stage she is still completely un-aware of her surroundings and the state she is in herself.
I believe that Williams passes on a strong message through the play, “Desire deteriorates our lives while our greatest fears stare us in the eye, the only reward we find is in knowing why we regret.” In the end, Blanche Dubois of A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragic figure. All she ever desired was a good, clean life. What she acquired was pain and illusion. One can only be relieved that Blanche finally emptied her secrets and came clean. Whether she ever actually got what she wanted or not, at least her torture even ours conclusively came to an end.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Streetcar Named Desire: Relationship Between Stanley and Blanche Essay

- A Streetcar Named Desire is a play of multifaceted themes and diverse characters with the main antagonists of the play, Blanche and Stanley infused by their polarized attitudes towards reality and society ‘structured on the basis of the oppositions past/present and paradise lost/present chaos’(*1). The effect of these conflicting views is the mental deterioration of Blanche’s cerebral health that, it has been said; Stanley an insensitive brute destroyed Blanche with cruel relish and is the architect of her tragic end....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
1999 words (5.7 pages)

Character of Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire Essay example

- Character of Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire One of the best-known plays of our time, Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” tells the story of fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her struggles during the South’s post-war changes. Although the play is widely remembered due to its 1951 film version and Marlon Brando’s famous bare-chested cry of “Stella!,” it is also a story of a changing South containing characters struggling with the loss of aristocracy to the new American immigrant, the fallout of chivalry to a new mindset of sex and desire, and a woman grasping desperately at the last bit of fantasy she can muster....   [tags: Williams Streetcar Desire Blanche Essays]

Strong Essays
1939 words (5.5 pages)

The Character Blanche Dubois In A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

- In “A Streetcar Named Desire”, the main character Blanche Dubois, displays a behavior similar to that of paranoia. The question that needs to be answered is why. Blanche is a character that has turned to many factors to ease her mental pain. Blanch uses denial as a coping mechanism which eventually causes her to have fears of abandonment and pressure from past conflicts. Denial is one of the ways that has helped Blanche deal with her stress, putting her in a state of mind to maybe escape from her life problems or reality itself....   [tags: Tennessee Williams play, character analysis]

Strong Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Conflict Between Stanley & Blanche In A Streetcar Named Desire

- “A Streetcar Named Desire works as a drama because of the conflicts between Stanley and Blanche.” Discuss. The themes of A streetcar Named Desire are mainly built on conflict, the conflicts between men and women, the conflicts of race, class and attitude to life, and these are especially embodied in Stanley and Blanche. Even in Blanche’s own mind there are conflicts of truth and lies, reality and illusion, and by the end of the play, most of these conflicts have been resolved. At the beginning of the play, there is an equilibrium, Stanley and Stella have been living happily together in Elysian Fields, however the arrival of Blanche acts as a catalyst and immediately she begins to challen...   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire - Blanche DuBois' Fragile Psyche

- Blanche’s Fragile Psyche in A Streetcar Named Desire       "Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire is to some extent living an unreal existence," according to Jonathan Briggs, book critic for the Clay County Freepress. In Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the readers are introduced to a character named Blanche DuBois. Blanche is Stella's younger sister who has come to visit Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans. After their first meeting Stanley develops a strong dislike for Blanche and for everything associated with her....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
1550 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

- The Destruction of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire      A Streetcar Named Desire is an intricate web of complex themes and conflicted characters. Set in the pivotal years immediately following World War II, Tennessee Williams infuses Blanche and Stanley with the symbols of opposing class and differing attitudes towards sex and love, then steps back as the power struggle between them ensues. Yet there are no clear cut lines of good vs. evil, no character is neither completely good nor bad, because the main characters, (especially Blanche), are so torn by conflicting and contradictory desires and needs....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
1696 words (4.8 pages)

The Characters of Blanche and Stanley Essay

- In the beginning Tennessee Williams formed Stanley and Blanche from the soil of repression and indulgence; he breathes desire into their nostrils causing them to become living souls. In the mist of the Elysian Fields garden was the tree of knowledge of death and redemption. Stanley the merciless predator of Blanche used the knowledge of the death of Belle Reve to expose Blanche’s nakedness. Blanche covers herself with puritanical fig leaves inadvertently exposing the primitive beast like qualities in Stanley....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
1412 words (4 pages)

Essay on Character Analysis: Blanche Dubois

- Tennessee Williams was a well known Modern English playwright. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi and moved to St. Louis, then to Memphis, and later graduated from the University of Iowa in 1983. Williams began to turn his short stories into plays and later on into films. His wildest audiences were in contemporary dramatic literature. Williams’s plays have been produced in England, France, Hally, Germany, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Cuba and Mexico....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
2098 words (6 pages)

The Tainted Blanche DuBois Essay

- “A Streetcar Named Desire” is arguably the greatest American tragedy ever written, this is undoubtedly to do with Williams’ skills as a playwright and the subtlety of the techniques he uses to draw the audience in, keep them guessing, engaged and mainly; to help further evoke catharsis and show that the protagonist, “Miss Dubois”, was tainted right from the very beginning. One of the main techniques used by Williams’ is his skill at writing in a poetic style, this, for a number of reasons, helps intensify the tragedy and further suggest that Blanches clearly flawed character will have her tragic comeuppance....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]

Strong Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Death in A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

- Death in A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams uses the theme of death continually in the play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ through the use of dramatic imagery and literal references. The characters of Blanche and Mitch are used the most frequently to express Williams’ own obsession with death. Though neither of the characters actually obsesses about death, Blanche’s life has been smothered by the deaths of those she loves and the coming death of Mitch’s mother is an obvious motivation for his actions....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Themes Essays]

Strong Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)