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The Tragic Blanche Du Bois In A Streetcar Named Desire

2088 words - 8 pages

Tennessee Williams has become one of the best known literary figures on the American Scene and also one of the most controversial. A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play opened on Broadway on December 3,1947, and closed on December 17, 1949, in the
Ethel Barrymore Theatre. While recognizing his compassion for frustrated and sensitive persons trapped in a highly competitive, commercial world, question whether he has not sacrificed his talent for popular success (Mood 43). “He [Williams] continued this study with Blanche Dubois of A Streetcar Named Desire (1947).” Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire is epitome of full-bodied male pulchritude and Williams’ most radiant symbol of virility. “In A Streetcar Named Desire the Southern gentlewoman, the last representative of a dying culture, is to delicate to with land the crudeness and decay surrounding her [Blanche Dubois]” (Mood 45). Blanche Dubois the last relic of the decade Southern plantation “Belle Reve”. “It would take Williams to place the sex-happy adult children of the New Orleans slum in the Greek Isles of the Blessed” (Mood 45). “The entrance of Blanche Dubois, delicate as a moth and dressed in immaculate white- and looking as if Blanche Dubois were about to take cocktails or tea in the best drawing room or garden, is an incongruous and shocking intrusion” (Mood 46). “Williams was born on March, 26, 1911, Williams suffered through a difficult and troubling childhood. William’s father, Cornelius Williams, was a shoe salesman and an emotionally absent parent” (Mood 48). William’s father became increasingly abusive as the Williams children grew older. Williams’s mother had lived the adolescence and young woman hood of a spoiled Southern Belle. “While success freed Williams financially, it also made it difficult for Williams to write” (Mood 49). Williams went to Mexico to work on a play originally titled “The Poker Night”. “This play eventually became one of Williams’s most effective blends of lyrical vision and dramatic irony in the agony of Blanche’s cry against Stanley to Stella Kowalski, his wife and her sister” (Mood 53). “Blanche Dubois cannot live with what Williams and most men of our time unhappily regard as reality” (Mood 57). Blanche Dubois is an aging Southern Belle and an insecure, dislocated individual who panics about her fading beauty and constantly attempts to hide from reality.
Blanche pretends to be a woman who has never known indignity. Lying to herself as well as others allows Blanche Dubois to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is. Blanche Dubois refuses to tell anyone her true age. “Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Dubois constantly bathes herself” (Qurine 260). Blanche Dubois feels as if these baths calms her nerves. “Blanche Dubois is a loquacious and fragile woman around the age of thirty. She’s a fading, though still attractive, Southern Belle who pretensions to virtue and culture only thinly mask her alcoholism and delusions of...

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