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The Characters In A Streetcar Named Desire

2138 words - 9 pages

A Streetcar Named Desire is a classic tragedy written by Tennessee Williams, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize as well as many other awards. This brilliant play explores many important themes and issues. The main recurring theme Williams explores to the readers is the conflict between fantasy and reality, honesty and lies. However, sexuality, violence, and social differences also shape the action of the plot, in which they contribute to the effect of the characters of the play. The three main characters, Blanche Dubois, Stella Kowalski, and Stanley Kowalski, have different ways of dealing with the said conflicts in their harsh surroundings in which they live in, as they all face different crisis. Blanche, who suffers from emotional and inner conflict, is caught between two worlds and tries to escape reality and the truth as much as she possibly can with her imagination. Stella on the other hand, is a naïve and sensitive character, and may be considered to be the protagonist of the play. Stella tries to ignore the truth going on around her, and as harsh as they may be, she accepts them. Stanley, who is an aggressive, dominant, and sexual character, uses violence to receive his desire, no matter the cost. Throughout this play, Blanche, Stella, and Stanley try to survive and deal with reality in different ways in order to satisfy their desire.
Blanche DuBois is the most interesting character in A Streetcar Named Desire. This is because she has an amazing ability of making her fantasy seem like reality. From the beginning of the play, Blanche is already represented as an unstable woman. She has lost her fortune and residence due to creditors, and has turned to her younger sister for nurture. As the play develops, Blanche’s tragic and surprising past is revealed. When Blanche was a teenager, she had fallen in love and married a young boy named Allan Grey. She later discovers Allan’s homosexuality and when she confronts him about it, he commits suicide. Blanche has been haunted with the guilt of her husband’s death ever since. This perhaps has motivated a lot of her actions. Allan’s death demonstrates the end of Blanche’s sexual innocence as she is constantly in search of comfort and kindness, which she receives while “meeting with strangers”. She has also lost her job as a schoolteacher when her affair with a young student was exposed to the school and the people of Laurel, and led to her exile. All of these events point to the fact that Blanche is a social outcast due to her continuous sexual behaviour. As the play develops, the reader can comprehend that Blanche is less proper and superior as she portrays herself to be. Blanche, herself, is ashamed of her true identity and life, so she tends to keep her past life a secret. She is also realising that she is aging very quickly and fears of losing her beauty. Her insecurities and infirmities lead her to find comfort in a world of illusion which she creates herself, as she refuses to face...

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