Fantasy and Illusion in A Streetcar Named Desire

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“Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces” (Sigmund Freud). Illusion can be a part of our lives; however, if taken to the extreme, it can lead one to forget reality. Every individual has problems in life that must be faced with reality and not with illusion, even though it might throw one into flames of fires. Tennessee Williams' play of a family reveals the strength of resistance between reality and desire, judgment and imagination, and between male and female. The idea of reality versus illusion is demonstrated throughout the play. Blanche's world of delusion and fantastical philosophy is categorized by her playful relationships, attempts to revive her youth, and her unawareness in the direction of reality of life. In Tennessee William’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire, through the study of character and tropology, fantasy and illusion allow one to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is.

Blanche is a delusional character who creates life from her imagination to help her pass through the hardness of life. Blanche admits that living in fantasy is much better than living in reality. When she was talking to her lover “Mitch”, she admits that the world of fantasy is much kinder as she says, “I don't want realism. I want magic!” (Williams, 117). Blanche does not care if this magic is factual or not. The importance of magic to Blanche is that she has the choice to choose fantasy which allows her to believe in and hope for something better than harsh world. She is aware of that, making the world as attractive as sh...

... middle of paper ... and thinks that her hopes will not be destroyed. Thirdly, Blanche thinks that strangers are the ones who will rescue her; instead they want her for sex. Fourthly, Blanche believes that the ones who love her are trying to imprison her and make her work like a maid imprisoned by them. Fifthly, Blanche’s superiority in social status was an obscure in her way of having a good social life. Last but not least, Blanche symbolizes the road she chose in life- desire and fantasy- which led her to her final downfall.

Works Cited

"Sigmund Freud Quotes." Find the Famous Quotes You Need, Quotations.Web.

27 Apr. 2011.


Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Signet, 1975. Print.
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