Blanche Dubois How Hardship Affected Her How Did A Character Respond To Hardship In A Streetcar Named Desire

1192 words - 5 pages

Doctor Wayne W. Dyer, a popular self-empowerment author claims, "The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind." Blanche Dubois the protagonist in A Streetcar Named Desire is a perfect example of this quotation. Her life was full of tragedy and hardship. She dealt with these hardships in a destructive and negative manner, thus, causing her more hardship and tragedy. In the end, this vicious cycle eventually cost Blanche her sanity. Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams develops the idea that Blanche is incapable of coping with hardship properly. Blanche lies, engages in numerous sexual relationships, drinks and bathes to escape and soothe her pain. Blanche's methods are ineffective and temporary ways to cope with pain.Blanche's bathing habits occur passim in A Streetcar Named Desire. These bathing rituals are parallel to her hardships that she explains and endures throughout the play. This motif is used to put emphasis on Blanche's desire to cleanse herself from her numerous sexual encounters and troubles. Although Blanche claims, these bathing habits calm her nerves; the root of her bathing runs deeper than merely relaxing. She uses this bathing ritual to shed her illicit past to renew herself mentally and emotionally. Yet, as she cannot erase the past; her bathing is never done.In addition to Blanche's excessive bathing habits, she also indulges in drinking to cope with her issues. She uses alcohol in an unhealthy manner [often antisocial and secret]; this misuse helps her withdraw from the reality of her life. In the beginning of the play when Blanche arrives at Elysian Fields; she is so stressed out from her trip and the loss of Belle Reve she is drinking like a fish. First, Blanche drinks in secret before Stella arrives and again when Stella arrives. Drinking often makes Blanche's imagination take flight and also leads to Blanche deluding herself, such as, concocting a getaway with Shep Huntleigh. In Scene Nine Blanche is found, 'seated on a chair with the Varsouviana playing; she is drinking to escape.' (Page 113) In this description, Blanche is using alcohol to assist her not think about being stood up by Mitch. This method of escaping proves to be very ineffective because it is temporary and destructive. It is only temporary because Blanche will eventually sober up and it is destructive because of the eccentric stories she comes up with when she is drinking.In A Streetcar Named Desire, there are constant reminders that Blanche is not as 'pure' as the metaphorical value of her name or her white clothing. Blanche's promiscuous lifestyle before she arrived in Elysian Fields was a way of temporarily filling the void she felt because of the suicide of Allan (her deceased husband). There are several references made to the pain Blanche has experienced because of Allan's suicide. Primarily in Scene Six:"Suddenly in the middle of the dance the boy I had married broke away from me and ran out of the casino....

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