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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. As such, the play has no clear victor, everyone loses something, and this fact is what gives the play its tragic cast. In a larger sense, Blanche and Stanley, individual characters as well as symbols for opposing classes, historical periods, and ways of life, struggle and find a new balance of power, not because of ideological rights and wrongs, but as a matter of historical inevitability.
The Unnecessary Decline of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire Upon reviewing the drama, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, it would appear that the character of Blanche DuBois is worthy of closer inspection. With her previous occupation as a teacher of American literature and her former social status being that of a well-bred woman of the very traditional Old South, Blanche could be any human being transferring from one culture to another with customs far different from the ones being left behind. Even today it could happen that someone is suddenly confronted with a totally new and different value system with which he must learn to cope in order to be accepted into his new environment. That is the situation in which Blanche finds herself. After close inspection of the plot of A Streetcar Named Desire, it appears that the course of the play could quite easily have been turned from decline and tragedy to rescue and triumph for Blanche DuBois with only a few minor adjustments.
Fulfillment of desire has always been a popular theme in novels, plays and short stories because it has been undeniable and problematic in women throughout history. Novels such as The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, as well as plays like A Streetcar Named Desire and "Portrait of a Madonna," by Tennessee Williams, often show what society would ensure happened to these women if they were ever to follow through and try to fulfill their desires, be them sexual desires or otherwise. According to this novels and plays, women that strive to fulfill their desires eventually come to a tragic end because the society cannot permit a woman to liberate herself from the stigma of the repressed desire without also letting go of the social status that this repressed desire imparts them. Society states that if a woman indulges in these desires without restriction, then she will be banished from her social status and perceived as polluted and unworthy. Even at the very beginning of A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams sets the tone by having Blanche relate to Eunice the means of transportation that she took in order to get to her sister's apartment.