Blanche Dubois In Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire

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Like a moth that flutters for a false moon only to discover a flame, faith in romantic illusions in lieu of reality can burn one to white ash. In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, flighty protagonist Blanche DuBois conceals her scandalous history with contrived fantasies, but ultimately she only fools herself. While Blanche’s fibs and delusions proclaim her virtue and innocence, the truth of her past begins to emerge, and she is undone by the very thing she is trying to escape: reality. Because of Blanche’s dependence on illusions to veil the deterioration of her physical appearance and moral code, her character is essential in suggesting the impossibility of maintaining a romantic perspective in the modern world. After her beloved husband’s suicide, Blanche relies on physical illusions to entice suitors…show more content…
After desperately seeking intimacy and affection in the arms of strangers, Blanche subdues the residual shame and guilt from her promiscuity by propagating the illusion of a refined Southern belle. Upon first seeing Stella’s apartment in Elysian Fields, for example, Blanche feigns shock, asking, “What are you doing in a place like this?” (1781), when, of course, it is later revealed that Blanche had been staying at The Flamingo, a cheap hotel, where she worked as a prostitute. Blanche also makes frequent reference to her supposed virtue; when asked about her astrological sign, she coyly replies, “Virgo is the Virgin” (1809). Furthermore, she tactfully dodges Mitch’s sexual advances: “I guess you are used to girls . . . that get lost immediately, on the first date!” (1815). By implying the lower moral standards of Mitch, Stanley, and even Stella, Blanche is able to minimize her own depravity. Because of these dependencies on moral and physical illusions, Blanche’s imminent downfall is essential in suggesting the perils of relying on

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