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How Does Williams want us to feel about Blanche in the opening scene?

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Introduction

How Does Williams want us to feel about Blanche in the opening scene? At the start of the scene, the Blanche is introduced dressed conspicuously in white, "as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party". Williams is trying to portray a sense of youth, innocence and purity in her clothing, but she is obviously out of place; however she is also described as a "moth"-an unpleasant creature of the dark, so there is obviously more to her than meets the eye. She has an air of great self-importance and she is posh, and therefore slightly out of place. She is used to grander settings than Elysian Fields: "Her expression is one of shocked disbelief". ...read more.

Middle

She 'tosses down' half a tumbler, before hiding the evidence, thus revealing her secretive nature. This theme of her secret drinking habit continues throughout the first scene, as she lies about drinking and even has the temerity to claim that 'one's her limit'. She is also patronising and rude towards Stella. She joyously embraces her sister, talking far too much while trying to maintain her disguise: "turn that light off!...I won't be looked at in this merciless glare!" She doesn't want her sister to see that she is drunk or see through the facade of youthfulness. She then orders her about patronisingly while condemning her home: "What are you doing in a place like this?" ...read more.

Conclusion

She is keen to impose herself upon the local community, again showing her insatiable need to be liked by others. Eventually she moves on to why she came to be here, apart from "taking a leave of absence" from the school. She gives some lame excuses, like "I want to be near you" but betrays her cover with the stage direction "Her voice drops and her look is frightened". However she is able to recover herself enough to launch into a hyperbolic defence of herself after losing the family home, even blaming Stella for leaving: "You're a fine one to sit there accusing me of it!" She also exaggerates greatly, claiming "I fought for it, bled for it, almost died for it". ...read more.

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