Theme Of Illusion In A Streetcar Named Desire

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“I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it!” (Williams, 2009, p. 738). Illusion vs. reality has been a major running theme in all the plays we have read in class. By interpretation, the idea of illusion is a way to build an alternate fantasy world for oneself where he/she can escape from reality. From all the characters analyzed in class, Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire would definitely be the one character who is so steadfast on illusion that she lets it shape her life as she believes it is her only way towards a happier life. As seen in the above quote, Blanche chooses to dwell in illusion, for it is her primary defense against the troubles in her life. Illusion has had a freeing enchantment that protects her from the tragedies she has had to endure. However, Blanche is not the only character with this fixation on illusion. In this paper, I will be analyzing other characters like Nora from A Doll’s House, Eliza from Pygmalion and Mrs. Hale from Trifles, who just like Blanche have also succumbed to the world of illusion as opposed to reality. The first character that we will look at is Nora. In the Doll’s House we are introduced to Nora who is happily married to Torvald. She responds affectionately to Torvald’s patronizing and teasing and doesn’t seem to object to her doll-like treatment. However we come to learn that Nora isn’t just the silly girl or childish woman Torvald calls her. Although Nora is well off financially, her issue lies with the way she is treated. The society at that time deems that Torvald is the dominant marriage partner, and as h... ... middle of paper ... ...Blanche, Mrs. Hale felt the need to misinterpret things to the men, she didn’t tell the truth, hid the bird and stood by her beliefs what ought to be the truth which was Mrs. Wright should not be punished for killing her husband. He has caused her so much grief; it was only natural that the stillness caused her to kill her husband. With the above two characters- Nora and Eliza, they used illusion for more personal benefits but with the case of Mrs. Hale she used illusion to support and withholds information from the men to protect Mrs. Wright. All in all, the three plays depict various forms of illusion, each having a significant impact and/or consequence over each character and those around them. Nora decides to leave Torvald when faced with the reality, Eliza leaves Higgins to rediscover herself and Mrs. Hale manipulates the evidence to help protect her friend.
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