The play begins as character Blanche Dubois arrives to her destination after getting off a streetcar named Cemeteries. She went to visit her baby sister, Stella, to inform her of the loss of their home plantation. Also, she had no other place to go, so visiting with Stella meant she had a home. When Stella arrives home, Blanche starts talking and Stella never gets the chance to speak. In the beginning, Blanche
Blanche DuBois stands for everything that the Old South represented: old-fashioned values, the decaying aristocratic class, the imagistic pastoral sensitiveness (Prince 3). Blanche clings to the past in her struggle for reaccommodation. Right from the beginning she is an unusual presence, even hilarious. She enters the scene dressed in a very sophisticated manner which contrasts sharply with the world around: “Her appearance is incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat…” (scene 1; stage directions).
Stereotypical gender roles have existed as long as human culture has, becoming a natural part of all of our lives. Within each gender lies a variety of stereotypes and expectations. Most notably for men they are often depicted as tough and the family provider. Whereas women are often shown to be soft and vulnerable. Throughout the play A Streetcar Named Desire the author; Tennessee Williams illustrates the main characters, Stanley, Stella, Mitch and Blanche with these stereotypes.
Eliza Penn Gender roles in the mid-1900s held a prominent place in society because they defined an individual’s behavior and outlook. In A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, two of the protagonists, Stanley and Blanche, strongly represent and embody the extremes of masculinity and femininity. Stanley exemplifies the strong and aggressive male in the 1900s, while Blanche represents the frail and superficial woman. When these two types of characters are placed in close proximity to one another, the results can be devastating. Tennessee Williams wrote this play in order to demonstrate what happens when Blanche, a feminine woman, and Stanley, a masculine man, are brought into conflict; when these extremes clash, it can result in violence and the shattering of an individual’s defense system.
Also, Blanche plays emotional games with men to get the attention she needs to feel good. For example, when Blanche sees the paper boy, she takes out a scarf to try and seduce him, quickly kisses him without waiting for consent, and rushes him on his way without a word from him, just to play with his emotions (pg. 88). Even when something bad happens to Blanche, she copes by making a lie to cover up her emotions. After Blanche was raped and Stella did not believe what had happened, she falsely told her sister “…the rest of [her] time [she] is going to spend on the sea…”(pg.
A lot of the play was formed around Blanche's many insecurities. Her past was something she wanted to forget due to her husband committing suicide and her reliance on promiscuous activities to forget about it all. This led to her using alcohol
Blanche’s desire for marriage stems from the happiness she felt from her first marriage when she was young. She was completely in love with her husband, and was utterly shocked to find out that he preferred men to the point where she had called him “disgusting”. In the end, he took his own life and Blanche had become widowed. Scarred by the death of her husband, she finds content in the arms of any stranger who admires her façade. Blanche’s dependence on a man is a clear representation of her desperation for a married life.
This behavior of her desires also shows how she is living in an illusion trying to recreate her relationship with her husband. However, this is not possible since the illusion she is trying to create is in the past and cannot be remade. Where she tries to repeat the illusion, which eventually leads her to a destructive path. Consequently, Blanche’s overwhelming desire causes the loss of her relationship with Mitch and the only escape she had out of this illusionary world. Where she is unable to escape her illusions and now truly believes in it.Mitch rejects Blanche because of how Stanley told him about her past.
A Streetcar Named Desire can be seen as a modern tragedy because Blanche, who could be considered protagonist, is working against a tide of unstoppable change. Whereas protagonists in other tragedies work mainly against their own mistakes and flaws, Blanche must also deal with the changing times in America: The industrialization of the South during and after WWI and WWII, the end of the old plantations, immigrants, like the Polish Stanley, moving into the South. In Blanche's mind these indicate the end of simplicity, and she fails to cope with the realities. American literature after WWII often relies on these same themes of change in tragedy. The protagonist not only has no control over their tragic flaw, but also cannot navigate the outside world which once was simple.
A Character Analysis of Blanche Dubois in the Play “A Streetcar Named Desire” Blanche Dubois is the protagonist of one of Tennessee William’s most famous plays A Streetcar Named Desire. It was first performed on Broadway in 1947. It won a Pulitzer Prize and launched the careers of the playwright, director (Eliza Kazan), and several of the actors (Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Karl Malden, and Kim Hunter). Blanche Dubois is probably one of the dramatic characters who has called the attention of spectators. However, she seems to be inexhaustible in her complexity, for new perspectives can be applied in an analysis of her downfall.