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Appearance Vs Reality In A Streetcar Named Desire

1073 words - 4 pages

Appearance vs Reality in A Streetcar Named DesireDavid G. Myers, a psychologist, once said that " there is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values." In the play "A streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams there is a recurring theme of appearance against reality. This is mostly noticed in the three main characters' roles. Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski and Stanley Kowalski all have an appearance at the beginning of the play that by the end is majestically obscured by Tennessee Williams.Blanche Dubois is arguably the character in "A Streetcar Named Desire" with the most oscillation between appearance and reality. Blanche is hopelessly lost in the past and this greatly influences her actions in the present. At the beginning of the play, Blanche appears as the innocent, loving young girl that she once was, but as the play goes on we get more and more hints that ultimately lead to the realization that Blanche is an insecure alcoholic who was fired from her job because of child molestation and then went on to be a prostitute. Referring back to the quote in the first paragraph, Blanche is so blinded by the spectacles of her past that she doesn't realize what is going on in the present. She wants Mitch to be the perfect husband from her fantasies, who will care for her for the rest of her life, but she doesn't realize that this will never happen. "I'll tell you what I want, magic, yes, yes magic". This quote clearly reflects how Blanche wants to live in a world of fiction where all her problems go away, but she doesn't realize that this is an impossible solution to her problems. A large factor that contributes into this is the use of setting by the playwright. Tennessee Williams chose New Orleans for his play because of the exotic elements that can't quite be found in any other city of the United States. The reason why this contributes to Blanches perception of appearance vs reality is because it affects the way she lives in during the time period of the play. Before coming to New Orleans, she lived in a completely different environment and this affects the way that she looks at New Orleans. Williams also uses irony in his play to outline Blanche's character. She is always talking about being proper and always scorns Stanley's crudeness, however, Blanche has a past that she and probably everyone in the world would like to keep dark and secret. Blanche is constantly reminded of her past because of the many differences between her new home of New Orleans and her old home in Mississippi. All of these things contribute to Stella, Blanche's sister, abandoning her and sending her to a mental hospital."He didn't know what he was doing... He was as good as a lamb when i came back and he's really very, very ashamed of himself." This quote from Stella is from scene four. Stella is talking to Blanche and explaining to her that all is good again with Stanley and after he slapped her in the...

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