Adversity can cause an individual to overcome their challenges and strengthen their identity, however, it can also have the opposite negative effect. Adversity can trigger an individual to lose their identity in their attempt to escape from their problems. In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, Blanche DuBois is unable to face adversity, which leads her to lose her individual identity during her attempt to escape reality. Blanche had experienced numerous hardships such as the deaths of many family members and the loss of her young husband, Allan. Instead of overcoming these challenges and becoming stronger, Blanche tried to run away from them.
Blanche was awfully spoiled as a young girl. She lived in a huge house named Belle Reve, where servants would wait on her every want and need. This led her to never experience any hardships or adversity as a child. She had no previous experience of when she was forced to deal with ...view middle of the document...
Instead of fighting against this challenge and changing as an individual for the better, she found an escape through sex. Her way of coping with adversity was to go and have sex with a young man. She brought more adversity onto herself by getting involved with so many young men. For example, she had an affair with one of her seven-teen year old students, which led to her getting fired. This also led to her having a very bad reputation in Laurel, which is why she leaves and arrives to stay with Stella, her sister, in New Orleans. This is another example of her running away from her problems. Blanche believes that her dilemmas and reputation will be left behind in Laurel and would not follow her to New Orleans. She later finds out that this isn’t true. You cannot run away from your problems. You have to face them and deal with them before you can move on. Otherwise, they will just follow you everywhere.
Blanche eventually retreats to her own fantasy world to try and escape her problems. She is incapable of coping with adversity through any other way than through sex. Once she is unable to have frequent sex with younger men in New Orleans, Blanche doesn’t know any other way to deal with it. This leads her to create complex lies about her life. She lies to everyone about her background, to the extent that eventually, she believes it’s real. This causes her to lose her identity and to become a version of who she thinks she is in her fantasy, when in reality she isn’t. For example, Blanche ultimately believes that she is significantly younger than she is and that Shep Huntleigh, a wealthy man she once had an affair with, would come and relieve her of her problems. She convinces herself that she will die happy and rich without a care in the world, away from all of her hardships.
Blanche loses her identity due to adversity to the extreme extent that she can’t even remember who she truly is in reality. Blanche was unable to become stronger due to adversity and instead became weaker to the degree that she lost her real individual identity. This shows that people should face adversity and learn from it, in order to become stronger, instead of attempting to escape from it, and consequently causing more to fall upon themselves.