Blanche Is Responsible For Her Own Fate In A Street Car Named Desire

1096 words - 4 pages

This essay will describe whether or not Blanches’ unfortunate eventual mental collapse was due to her being a victim of the society she went to seek comfort in, or if she was solely or at least partly responsible. The factors and issues that will be discussed include, Blanches’ deceitful behaviour and romantic delusions which may have lead to her eventual downfall, the role Stanley ended up playing with his relentless investigations of her past and the continuous revelations of it, the part society and ‘new America’ played in stifling her desires and throwing her into a world she could not relate to or abide by.
Firstly, the reader may initially feel Blanche is completely responsible or at least somewhat to blame, for what becomes of her. She is very deceitful and behaves in this way throughout the play, particularly to Mitch, saying, ‘Stella is my precious little sister’ and continuously attempting to deceive Stanley, saying she ‘received a telegram from an old admirer of mine’. These are just two examples of Blanches’ trickery and lying ways. In some ways though, the reader will sense that Blanche rather than knowingly being deceitful, actually begins to believe what she says is true, and that she lives in her own dream reality, telling people ‘what ought to be the truth’ probably due to the unforgiving nature of her true life. This will make the reader begin to pity Blanche and consider whether these lies and deceits are just what she uses to comfort and protect herself. Blanche has many romantic delusions which have been plaguing her mind since the death of her husband. Though his death was not entirely her fault, her flirtatious manner is a major contributor to her downfall. She came to New Orleans as she was fired from her school for, as Stanley reveals, ‘A seventeen-year-old boy-she's gotten mixed up with!’ Resulting in her leaving Laurel. She flirts with many men and young adults throughout the play, which makes the reader feel a lack of sympathy for her as the men she desired ended up becoming major contributors to her eventual downfall, in particular Stanley.
The reader may view Blanche as someone who tried to escape her sordid past in Laurel and wanted to start a new life with her sister, yet due to the continuous investigations from Stanley, was unable to do so. Stanley reveals Blanches’ lies and deceits, commenting on them as her ‘same old act, same old hooey!’ This tells the reader that his research of Blanches’ past is way of stopping her from finding a new life. Blanche attempts to redeem her life by finding love with Mitch, yet Stanley again reveals to Mitch that she was not ‘straight’, resulting in Mitch not wanting to be with her and also contributing to her fate. Stanley, after mercilessly divulging all her truths and bringing her to the edge of her mental capacity, rapes Blanche which brought about her final collapse. The reader may view Stella as someone at blame for her sisters’ fate, as though she shows some...

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