Peoples 1 Tashana Peoples Professor Johnson English 201- 9E3 May 18, 2012 Final Research Paper: A Streetcar Named Desire Draft Blanche Dubois is a character in Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire. She is a rather important person in the play, as the plot is largely centered on her and Stanley Kowalski. Her character is challenging and controversial because she has a shocking past but portrays herself to be a classy and sophisticated woman. Blanche arrives at her sister Stella’s apartment in New Orleans, Louisiana on a streetcar named Desire (symbol).
The urban, somewhat grimy atmosphere is a shock to Blanche. Blanche then starts to look down on her sister’s apartment as well as her husband: Blanche: No, now seriously, putting joking aside. Why didn’t you tell me, why didn’t you write me, honey, why didn’t you let me know? Stella: Tell you what, Blanche? Blanche: Why, that you had to live in these conditions! (Scene One) She acts as if she’s better than everyone else and too good to be living like they are. Even after she insults her sister’s living conditions, Stella still welcomes her sister with open arms.
Blanche starts off in the very beginning of the play lying to Stella about her work situation: “Blanche: I was so exhausted by all I’d been through my- nerves broke. I was on the verge of- lunacy, almost! So Mr. Graves- Mr. Graves is the high school superintendent- he suggested that I take a leave of absence. ” (Scene One) Blanche tells Stella that her supervisor allowed her to take time off because of her nerves when in fact she has been fired for having an affair with an underage student. This is just one instance showing her interaction with the opposite gender.
Later in the play readers find out that she has also been very promiscuous with numerous men when Stanley receives this information from a colleague. This along with many other things leads to her wanting to escape Laurel. Stanley doesn’t like Blanche and he makes it known that he’s onto her lies. In Scene Ten he begins to tell her that she acts classy and has fancy items but not once does that fool him. He even buys her a ticket to go home and tells his wife that Blanche has to leave on Tuesday. Towards the ending of the play, Blanche claims that she received a wire from a man who invited her to go to the Caribbean with him.
He is supposedly a wealthy man and she tries to show off by bragging to people about it. Both the wire and the invitation turn out to be another one of her hallucinations. Blanche has had a disturbed life, including a marriage that ended because her husband committed suicide after she discovers him having a homosexual affair. This leads her into a world where fantasies and illusions blend with reality. Everything she tells Stella and Stanley are lies and figments of her imagination. The play ends with her leaving not on a bus back to her hometown, but to a mental hospital with a doctor.
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