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In A Streetcar Named Desire, the gripping play by Tennessee Williams, Blanche Dubois, a rapidly aging, washed up Southern belle, desperately struggles to come to terms with her status as an alcoholic harlot in the eyes of society. Blanches past haunts

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Introduction

In A Streetcar Named Desire, the gripping play by Tennessee Williams, Blanche Dubois, a rapidly aging, washed up Southern belle, desperately struggles to come to terms with her status as an alcoholic harlot in the eyes of society. Blanche's past haunts her; she can never get away from the psychological damage, nor the reputational damage it inflicted. The play follows her on the slippery slope to insanity; her attempts to cover up her past and turn it into a pretty pink paramnesia eventually led to her downfall. Blanche's young adulthood was bright; she was from a very well off family in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi, and, we can assume, was very beautiful. ...read more.

Middle

With nowhere else to turn, Blanche decided to stay with her sister and her husband in New Orleans. Blanche attempts to reinvent herself in New Orleans as a classy socialite, but her attempts come off as aloof. She feels that she has to deceive people into thinking that she is beautiful, which why she never stands in full light; she had Mitch take her out after dark and she put a paper lantern over the lamp in the apartment. As she says to Stella in Scene 5, "Soft people have got to court the favor of hard ones, Stella. Have got to be seductive - put on soft colors, the colors of butterfly wings, and glow - make a little - temporary magic." ...read more.

Conclusion

In scene seven, Blanche, while bathing, sings Paper Moon, the chorus of which expresses her general outlook on life: "It's only a paper moon, sailing over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me." Williams conveys that Blanche believes that everything fake - everything paper and cardboard - can be made real if you simply believe in them enough. Bathing in A Streetcar Named Desire depicts how Blanche feels about her past. Blanche's past was, in her eyes, and the eyes of the post-world war II society, extremely scandalous and something that she was not proud of. She spent most of her time, effort and energy trying to cover up and conceal her past, as well to cleanse herself of it, which lead to her eventual slide to madness. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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