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A short analysis of Blanche Dubois (Streetcar named Desire)

Uploaded by Anappleater on Nov 19, 2003

Blanche DuBois:
Blanche’s first appearance in the play, Scene 1, sets the tone for her character throughout. She is described as being “daintily dressed In a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she where arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party” The illusion of innocence and refinery which she tries to create is reflected immediately by her choice of dress, which is white, demure, and virginal. Even her name “Blanche” is French for the colour white, a symbolism of both her French aristocratic ancestry and the “whiteness” of her personality.

Unfortunately this impression of purity given to both the audience and characters about Blanche, is a complete façade. Her false propriety is not merely snobbery, but a somewhat calculated attempt to make herself appear more attractive to male suitors. Blanche is a deeply insecure and neurotic woman who relies heavily on the compliments and sexual admiration of men to help her feel secure about her appearance,” admire her dress and tell her she is looking wonderful. That’s important with Blanche. Her little weakness!” - “I was fishing for a compliment Stanley”(scene 2) This has resulted in Blanche often succumbing to passion, and she has left behind her in Mississippi a life of poverty and an extremely bad reputation, even allegedly having an affair with a minor. “I had many intimacies with strangers” (scene 9) Her past of excessive promiscuity is however, understood more when we come to learn more about the death of her husband. Blanche blames herself very deeply for his suicide, “he came to me for help. I didn’t know that” and the fact she could not “fix” his homosexuality, which has left her with great feelings of inadequacy about her sexual attractiveness to men. It also seems that through these “intimacies with strangers” she was both morning the lose of her husband “After the death of Allan… it was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with” and was desperately seeking some kind of protection, a chivalrous gentlemen who could rescue her from all her troubles.

She had also lost the family home, Belle Reve, under ambiguous circumstances and had been forced to care for her ailing mother after the death of her father and Stella left. She is a woman who has experienced a lot of tragedy in her life....

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Uploaded by:   Anappleater

Date:   11/19/2003

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (822 words)

Views:   2080

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