Literary Analysis Of A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Literary Analysis of a Streetcar Named Desire Blanche a fallen southern belle who has lost everything; her husband, wealth, an her youth. After being kicked out of her hometown in Mississippi and force to take “leave of absence” from her job as a teacher. Blanche comes to New Orleans in a street car named Desire, which could be seen as her desire of youth. Blanche has nowhere to stay and without a dime to her name, she stay at her sister Stella’s apartment. Blanche is never seen in any harsh bright light, also unscrewing the light bulbs or placing paper lanterns on the light. Blanche has a hated towards Stella’s husband Stanley, for he was not up to the standards that Blanche would have preferred. Since Blanche consider herself from an aristocratic…show more content…
Blanche’s desire to be sexually active destroyed her life, ultimately causing her to be exiled from her town. Blanche was a woman with a standard career as a school teacher but due to her highly inappropriate behavior towards male students, she had to take a leave of absence. “I’ve got to be good -- and keep my hands off the children.” (Scene 5). Blanche’s behavior is nowhere near being that iconic southern belle and although she is highly dependent towards men, the dependency is not in anyway a southern woman would behave. After Blanche was sexually abused by Stanley, she reached her breaking point, causing her to be admitted her to a mental hospital. In the hospital, Blanche was confronted by female nurse to which she reacted violently, however she responded much calmer with the male doctor which she replied “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” (Scene 11). The scene illustrates her fear of rejection and contrast towards southern mannerisms. Blanche was also rejected by Mitch for the reasons stated above, leading a misguided life. Blanche had several affairs back home with soldiers which causes her to be exiled. Another theme within A Streetcar named Desire is the relationship between sex and death. Blanche refuses to state her actual age during conversations, actively avoiding the topic as observed by…show more content…
Throughout the play, she redirects the light and even went to the extent of placing paper on the light source. “The paper lantern over the light bulb represents Blanche’s attempt to mask both her sordid past and present appearance” (LitCharts). Being in complete darkness is Blanche’s only mask to shield her youthful age is dying like roses picked too early; beauty fades with time. The harsh light exposes her faded beauty and she is longer the youthful, Southern belle she attempts to fool everyone with. Another form of symbolism within A Streetcar Named Desire are the numerous baths Blanche takes. Blanche is not physically unclean but she wishes to wash the guilt away from all her sexually encounters. She uses the excuse that it calms her nerves, when in reality she can no longer accept that her body isn't pure. In addition to her numerous baths, she constantly wears white. White is typical associated with innocence and purity, such as how a brides wear white on their wedding day. Blanche wants to remain pure and innocent, by wearing white she gives the illusion that she did not have numerous lovers. “White covers a multitude of sins.”(Smith) Blanche wants a clean beginning from her past, white can only influence the mind so far. White is the cleanliness personified, the ultimate in purity which Blanche attempts to reach with her
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