A Streetcar Named Desire Extract Analysis

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This extract is taken from Scene 9 of A Streetcar Named Desire and this scene begins with Blanche listening to the “Varsouviana”, and it abruptly ends when Mitch arrives. He is visibly drunk and walks right past her into the house. Blanche then begins asking about his mother but quickly changes the subject and the “Varsouviana” begins playing again, and Blanche tries to explain to Mitch the significance of the gunshot sound, but he ignores her. In this extract however, we see Mitch, confronting Blanche about her lies and life in Laurel.

Throughout the extract the theme of reality vs fantasy is very present as Blanche considered Mitch to be her fairy tale ending and her prince charming but in this extract that all ends. In the beginning of
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In scene 9 however, we see this contrast disparaging. In regards to their use of language, Mitch uses slang such as “malarkey” (22), which is indicative of less education however Blanche later on says “rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub!” (36), and this is very unusual for her as she always acts proper and with an air of sophistication. Williams uses this change in language as a way to show that Blanche’s facade is coming down and she is more vulnerable now, especially in front of Mitch, whom she always tried to look her best and that based on her actions and life, she associates more with the working class. Moreover, when Mitch talks about getting the information of Blanche’s life in Laurel from the merchant Kiefaber, Blanche’s immediate reaction is to discard his credibility by vocalizing how crudely he treated her. This links to her inability to stop lying, even in this moment where she is confessing as it goes against what she believes, which is that she is of a higher class than this men. In line 36 she describes the “tub” the men are in as “such a filthy tub” (36) and the word “filthy” has connotations of more working and lower class jobs and connects to the motif of bathing as she is trying to cleanse herself of her horrid past, but this men are bringing it back with them into the tub. Williams creates these opposite lifestyles and social statuses as it gives us an insight into how different Blanche’s life has turned out, yet she can’t seem to let go of the past and her social status, which links to Williams’ mother’s inability to accept her different social status when they moved
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