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Blanche DuBois and Her Downfall in A Streetcar Named Desire Essay


Blanche DuBois and Her Downfall

With all of the interesting characters in Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, there are many main characters that have interesting characteristics. Between all of those characters, Blanche DuBois seems to be the most intriguing and mysterious one. From the beginning of the play, Blanche demonstrated signs that she would be playing a major role in this play. Blanches character is fragile and just generally seems lost throughout the whole play. Blanche deals with many emotional issues making her an unstable person and full of complications. Through the play, we see Blanche battle with herself and the truth. As a main character, we see Blanche escaping from reality, fighting with herself, and eventually cracking.

In the Scene one, Blanche is brought in as this confused and glamorous lady. She is portrayed as high class and completely sane. As the play progresses, we see that she loves to talk and especially tell Stella stories. We see Blanche exaggerate these stories of hers and not even giving Stella a chance to speak. These lies of Blanche are what starts her series of white lies she gives to retreat into her fantasies. She begins to tell these lies to make her life seem so much more extravagant and exciting than it was. Since she also is caught up with looking youthful, she has to keep up with her appearance so this gives her even more incentives to lie. She isnt really hurting herself in any of this, but instead she digs herself a deeper hole and continues to build off of these lies. She tries to put all of her past problems behind, and cover these problems with her new life and lies.

Several scenes later, we see mysterious problems occurring with Blanche. Williams describes creepy scenes that Blanche is experiencing. We know there is something wrong with her when she begins seeing shadows and hearing polka music. This is when we began to wonder if she really did have a mental problem with these occurrences. She begins to hear echoes of voices and gunshots after she revisits several events that have happened in her life. We begin to see Blanche a little better after these incidents because she shows us that she is not all together. She struggles and is bothered by these occurrences leaving us as readers to think of the issues that Blanche is having mentally. Obviously something is wrong, but we arent really quite sure at this point as to what is wrong.

With Blanches downfall, everything goes back to the fact that she loved to lie. Blanche lied to almost everyone about several things such as her age and what she had done in the past. Blanche not only continued lying, but she also became caught up in her lies and she eventually believed them. Other factors that played into Blanches confusion circled around Stella and Stanleys relationship. Their relationship was something that Blanche had never witnessed before and she did not understand their relationship. She only became even more wrapped up in saving her sister and disliking Stanley more and more. She drove even Stanley to a point of insanity and this led to the disagreement between these two characters. Stanley realizes that Blanche is the reason for all of this nonsense in his life and with this, Stanley was determined to take Blanche off her high horse.

Stanley starts breaking her away through all of the arguments they had by beating at her emotionally and this started with a ticket back to Laurel. Stanley knew about all of these stories about Blanche and he was determined to get her out of his house. He finally destroyed Blanche was he raped her. From that point on, Blanche was totally broken. She had nothing else to ever say or even think about. At the end of the story we see Blanche being taken away without any worries what so ever as to where she was really going.

With this play, we got to see all of these complex situations that Blanche had to deal with made her a very interesting character. The play brought out all of these sides of Blanche that showed her as just one crazy person when really, she was just another person looking for companionship and a sense of normality within her life. Blanche was an interesting character and with that said, Williams used the play as a whole to bring out Blanches true identity. Her actions didnt help her at all in the long run except for her to get taken away showing that she stuck with her lies and her flirtatious tendencies all the way with her even when she was being taken away. She had that realization after her intervention and could not really resist anymore. She was taken away with ease and this is what left us to think, was Blanche truly that mentally unstable?

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