A Streetcar Desire

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Blanche is a woman who is suffering from the need to create a delusion for herself in order to cope with the stress of her life. She started out as a young woman with money and prestige. She married a man whom she caught with another man. He later killed himself. Blanche has never come to terms with the guilt that she feels over his death as well as the rejection she had felt by his choice of a male partner. She had been a genteel southern woman who tried to marry well and planed to live her life in comfort.
The reality for Blanche comes when she is forced to have to work and finds her beauty diminishing. She becomes desperate as she has lost her position as a school teacher due to her having sexual relations with a student. Blanche has crossed boundaries that have led her to feel more guilt and desperation. Her last hope for emotional and physical support is to live with her sister and her husband.
Blanche is appalled at the type of dwelling in which her sister resides. She decorates the place so that she can mask it for her own benefit. In desperation she dates Mitch; a man she feels is beneath her but may help her out of her problem by supporting her. When Stanley reveals the truth and her last hope is dissolved all unresolved issues surface and she has a nervous breakdown.

After having suffered the loss of her young homosexual husband to suicide and the loss of the final generation of the DuBois family and their estate ‘BelleReve’, it is no surprise that Blanche had been affected by these tragic events. She has tried to avoid the guilt she feels for her husband’s death by having ‘intimacies with strangers’ to ‘fill her empty heart’ and attempts to avoid realism and prefers ‘magic’ by telling ‘what ought to be the t...

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...more like a means of a way out the trap she finds herself in. There is evident pathos here as she and the audience are well aware that Mitch came to her house with the intention of raping her. Her willingness to marry a man who would do this to her clearly illustrates Blanche’s desperation.

“Whoever you are - I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Blanche

Blanche’s dependence on strangers to fulfill the emptiness she feels has only led her to the position she is in by the end of the play. Blanche’s inability to accept that strangers have only been kind to her in return for sex reflects her magical perception of the world. These being her final words in the play, referring to the ‘kindness’ of the doctor who is not the man (Shep) she was hoping for, shows her complete detachment from reality and the pathos of her empty belief in magic and kindness.
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