Essay PreviewMore ↓
Williams shows us a complex woman, named Blanche Dubois. This
paper will explore the symbolisms of her name.
The name Blanche is French and means white or fair. Her last name
DuBois is of French origin as well and translates as “made of wood”.
The name suggests that Blanche is a very innocent and pure person.
When she appears in scene one, “she is daintily dressed in a white
suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white
gloves and a hat…” (Sc.1 p. 2073). White is also the color of light
and represents perfection and virginity but throughout the play it
becomes obvious that Blanche cannot call any of the traits of her name
her own. She is a seductive and promiscuous woman. Only the illusory
image, which she tries to create for herself, suggests these traits,
but her true nature is not like that at all. She constantly tries to
hide her embarrassing past from her new acquaintances, because she
fears that they might not accept her anymore. In order to maintain
her apparent social status among her new neighbors and friends, she
builds an intertwined net of lies, which creates a false image of
her. She believes in this imaginary world, and as soon as there is
the slightest sign of destruction, she seems to be lost, and her
nervous condition worsens. Therefore all she cares about is to keep
that image alive. Her first name is therefore quite ironic since it
means the exact opposite of Blanche’s true nature and character.
Her last name, however, stands in contrast to her first name. Made of
wood suggests something solid and hard, which is the exact opposite of
her fragile nature and nervous condition. Wood can also be associated
with forest or jungle, and regarding her past, the connection becomes
clear. Blanche indulges in a rather excessive lifestyle. She has sex
with random strangers and is known throughout her hometown of Laurel
for that. Her former life is more like a jungle or a forest, because
it is hard to see through all this and detect the real Blanche. As in
a jungle, Blanche cannot find a way out of this on her own. The term
jungle appears in the play as well. In scene ten, when Stanley is
about to rape Blanche, “the inhuman jungle voices rise up” (Sc.10 p.
2130). The jungle can be associated with wildness, brutality and
inhuman behavior. As mentioned about, wood represents something hard,
or hard working. The Du in front of that however, suggests something
How to Cite this Page
"The Smbolisms of the Name, Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Feb 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- While watching A Streetcar named Desire, the character of Blanche Dubois at first appeared to be a weak self-absorbed southern woman, when really what started coming from her character was a flawed personality. What is not known is whether this is something that runs in the family, or has only shown itself through Blanche. Since this was during a time when mental illness was not yet studied deeply, the way Blanche is treated while succumbing to her illness and how she was sent off to the mental hospital was rather archaic.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
1001 words (2.9 pages)
- A Streetcar Named Desire is a play of multifaceted themes and diverse characters with the main antagonists of the play, Blanche and Stanley infused by their polarized attitudes towards reality and society ‘structured on the basis of the oppositions past/present and paradise lost/present chaos’(*1). The effect of these conflicting views is the mental deterioration of Blanche’s cerebral health that, it has been said; Stanley an insensitive brute destroyed Blanche with cruel relish and is the architect of her tragic end.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
1999 words (5.7 pages)
- Tennessee Williams has become one of the best known literary figures on the American Scene and also one of the most controversial. A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play opened on Broadway on December 3,1947, and closed on December 17, 1949, in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. While recognizing his compassion for frustrated and sensitive persons trapped in a highly competitive, commercial world, question whether he has not sacrificed his talent for popular success (Mood 43). “He [Williams] continued this study with Blanche Dubois of A Streetcar Named Desire (1947).” Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire is epitome of full-bodied male pulchritude and Williams’ most radiant symbol of viri... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
1713 words (4.9 pages)
- “Tragic characters are “efficient” only in courting, suffering and encompassing their own destruction.” (Gassner 463). Fitting Gassner’s definition of a tragic character, Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire caustically leads herself to her own downfall. In the beginning of the play, Blanche DuBois, a “belle of the old South” (Krutch 40), finds herself at the footsteps of her sister and brother-in-law’s shabby apartment in New Orleans. Although DuBois portrays herself as a refined and sophisticated woman, the reader soon comes to realize that, hiding beneath all the pearls and jewels, is a raw and unstable character.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
1678 words (4.8 pages)
- I would like to analyze a tragic heroine Blanche DuBois appearing in a play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) written by Tennessee Williams. My intention is to concentrate on the most significant features of her nature and behaviour and also on various external aspects influencing her life and resulting in her nervous breakdown. I would like to discuss many themes related to this character, such as loss, desire and longing for happiness, beauty and youth, pretension, lies and imagination, dependence on men and alcoholism.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
1516 words (4.3 pages)
- A Streetcar Named Desire sets the decaying values of the antebellum South against those of the new America. The civil, kindly ways of Blanche’s past are a marked contrast to the rough, dynamic New Orleans inhabited by Stella and Stanley, which leads Tennessee Williams’s “tragedy of incomprehension” (qtd. in Alder, 48). The central protagonist, Blanche, has many flaws; she lies, is vain and deceitful, yet can be witty and sardonic. These multifaceted layers balance what Jessica Tandy, who played Blanche in the first stage production in 1947, “saw as her ‘pathetic elegance’ .... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- The Charater of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire In 'A Streetcar Named Desire' we focus on three main characters. One of these characters is a lady called Blanche. As the play progresses, we gradually get to know more about Blanche and the type of person she really is in contrast to the type of person that she would like everybody else to think she is. Using four main mediums, symbolism and imagery, Blanche's action when by herself, Blanche's past and her dialogue with others such as Mitch, Stanley and the paperboy, we can draw a number of conclusions about Blanche until the end of Scene Five.... [tags: Streetcar Named Desire]
1046 words (3 pages)
- Character of Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire One of the best-known plays of our time, Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” tells the story of fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her struggles during the South’s post-war changes. Although the play is widely remembered due to its 1951 film version and Marlon Brando’s famous bare-chested cry of “Stella!,” it is also a story of a changing South containing characters struggling with the loss of aristocracy to the new American immigrant, the fallout of chivalry to a new mindset of sex and desire, and a woman grasping desperately at the last bit of fantasy she can muster.... [tags: Williams Streetcar Desire Blanche Essays]
1939 words (5.5 pages)
- “A Streetcar Named Desire works as a drama because of the conflicts between Stanley and Blanche.” Discuss. The themes of A streetcar Named Desire are mainly built on conflict, the conflicts between men and women, the conflicts of race, class and attitude to life, and these are especially embodied in Stanley and Blanche. Even in Blanche’s own mind there are conflicts of truth and lies, reality and illusion, and by the end of the play, most of these conflicts have been resolved. At the beginning of the play, there is an equilibrium, Stanley and Stella have been living happily together in Elysian Fields, however the arrival of Blanche acts as a catalyst and immediately she begins to challen... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
834 words (2.4 pages)
- Stella and Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire The two important female characters in the "poetic tragedy"(Adler 12), A Streetcar Named Desire, are Stella and Blanche. The most obvious comparison between Stella and Blanche is that they are sisters, but this blood relationship suggests other similarities between the two women. They are both part of the final generation of a once aristocratic but now moribund family. Both manifest a great deal of culture and sensitivity, and because of this, both seem out of place in Elysian Fields.... [tags: Streetcar Named Desire Essays Williams]
692 words (2 pages)
two terms, which can be explained with the nature of her character.
The way Blanche tries to create an aristocratic and sophisticated
image of her, but is in fact the complete opposite, displays this
There is another way to explore her last name, and it leads to the
pronunciation of it. If one pronounces DuBois with the correct French
accent, there is nothing uncommon about it, but since an American
wrote the play, who most likely knew the way most Americans would
pronounce it, a very obvious connection to Blanche’s past appears.
Being pronounced with an American accent, DuBois sounds more like “Do
boys,” which accompanies the fact that she has an affair with a
student while she was a teacher. Her kissing the paperboy in scene
five underlines the sexual symbolic meaning of that last name as well.
Overall, Blanche’s entire name is heavily symbolic because it reflects
her true nature in a very clear way. Just as first and last name are
being read out in an exact order. Blanche’s character is revealed in
the same way. At first she seems to be innocent and pure, but later
her past and her true nature can be discovered.
This essay points out a few of the many symbols used in A Streetcar
Named Desire. Williams introduces most of the symbols in the first
scene, to create a certain atmosphere and to give the reader a deeper
insight into the character from the beginning.