Character Analysis on Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Character Analysis on Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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I would like to analyze a tragic heroine Blanche DuBois appearing in a play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) written by Tennessee Williams. My intention is to concentrate on the most significant features of her nature and behavior and also on various external aspects influencing her life of and resulting in her nervous breakdown. I would like to discuss many themes related to her life, such as loss, desire, longing for happiness, beauty and youth, ageing and death, pretension, lies and imagination, dependence on men and last but not least alcoholism. It has to be mentioned that she is a very complex character. She is referred as a Southern belle, a woman with fading beauty but still an attractive female. As for her nature, she can be described as a lonely and a hypersensitive young woman who is trying to hide herself in her own world of illusions to protect herself from the harsh reality which she is not able to face. She is an unbalanced woman who uses lies, pretension and imagination as ways of escaping the truth since the tragic suicide of her first love which she unintentionally caused and therefore has been affected by the sense of guilt since that time. However, her fantasy world often blends with reality and it seems she herself cannot distinguish the reality from her dreams. In addition, her life is fraught with desire which she is unable to control. Although she feels that her sexuality should be covered, she is driven by it resulting in her provoking and seducing men which finally leads to her destruction.
Initially, I would like to deal with the loss of her husband which has had a large impact on all her subsequent relationships. She was married to a young man Allan Grey whom she was deeply in love with. However, after s...

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... „I called him a little boy and laughed and flirted. Yes, I was flirting with your husband.“ (William 44) Is seems as if her desire was something she cannot control. Contrariwise, she is able to deal with it when she is alone with Mitch because she considers him as her saviour and her future husband, and therefore she implies strategies of lying and pretension with him. She behaves as an innocent and vulnerable woman because she wants to show herself in a better light. She herself states: „I want his respect.“ (Williams 81) It is evident that she wishes to be happy and to become an honorable wife who her husband respect. It also shows her strong conviction that having a husband is the only possible way to achieve happiness in life. The marriage represents for her the only possible solution of her miserable situation – the escape from both poverty and bad reputation.

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