Entering the work, along with the reader, is Blanche. The fact that the reader is essentially carried into the story is important as the character with the most emotion is Blanche. She enters the play covered in white, which at this point can be taken in one of two ways. White, obviously, signifies purity. A woman who was still a virgin would dress in white to show off to possible suitors. The description also says “suit"; a suit is generally wore by a man; a suit wore by a woman would be seen as a sign of power, that she was equitable to any man. It could, however, be taken another way; the same reason women wear makeup; a façade. Blanche is a fake woman, someone who is “50% illusion” and in love with “magic.” With white gloves she attempts to sheath herself from the dirt that is society, like a fine woman would do. She is also, at the same time, hiding her true self from view; age shows in the hands. Her expression is that of disbelief, something that will repeat throughout the play and the film version, like many tiny revelations that truth lies behind the make-believe.
Many times is Blanche (and other characters, for that matter) compared to an animal. A moth, in this instance, which is ironic because she fears the light and the reality it brings. You cannot hide in the light, and while moths crave the brightness, when they ram too fast towards it they burn, something Blanche will find out in the end.
One of the most central aspects to understanding A Streetcar Named Desire is mentioned in this passage too; the journey caused by desire, the death, and the ascent to paradise. Blanche says she was told to take a streetcar named Desire, then transfer to Cemeteries, and arrive in Elysian Fields. She is...
... middle of paper ...
...ere are things going on behind the scenes, perhaps other than carnal pleasure, that keep them together; she cannot leave for she is a woman, and at this time what would she possibly do for a living to support herself and a child?
"Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar," asks Stella. The streetcar of desire, the vehicle that is supposed to lead to death yet end in paradise. While the desire may cause pain, it is the end result that everyone is vying for. Blanche concedes that it is why she is here in her life, and the reason she carries so much guilt and embarrassment. This is the point of the play, the central concept to life itself. Desires are toxic, but we crave them ever more for that very purpose; that in the end, we will surge past death and be granted paradise.
Blanche never reaches paradise, but a hell fabricated by those she thought she could trust.
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