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Write a detailed critical commentary of pages 73-77 ('Mitch: I'm surprised to hear that [...] Blanche: Sometimes - there's God - so quickly!')

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Introduction

Write a detailed critical commentary of pages 73-77 ('Mitch: I'm surprised to hear that [...] Blanche: Sometimes - there's God - so quickly!') Earlier in the scene Blanche questions Mitch with regards to what Stanley has told him about her and Blanche remarks that Stanley is rude to her. Mitch's reaction, that he is "surprised to hear that" and "[doesn't] see how anyone could be rude to [her]", suggests his feelings towards her are sincere and give the audience a deeper insight into Blanche's character and how she represents herself. In Blanche's earlier scene with Mitch she appears innocent to the world of domestic abuse and tells Mitch she isn't "properly dressed" and therefore can't sit and have a cigarette with him (although she is easily persuaded.) Mitch believes that she is the pure Southern Belle she wishes to be seen as but in scene nine, after he has looked into Stanley's accusations, he realises she has been promiscuous in the past and, as Stanley does in scene ten, tries to take advantage of her. ...read more.

Middle

The word "again" indicates that "the searchlight" had been off before she met Allen and that it is her love for him that "...suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow..." but since his death no one has been able to compare. Death is a major theme in this extract as well as throughout the play. It is inextricably linked to desire which is shown through Allen Grey's sexuality leading to his suicide, Blanche's relationship with the student causing her lose to her job and the rape in scene ten which resulted in her being institutionalised and ostracised from society. Although not all of these are physical death they are all metaphors for the destruction caused by desire. Mitch asks Blanche her age, a fact she refuses to disclose, as if by retaining that piece of information she can remain youthful and return to a time before Allen's death and her demise. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blanche refers to his sexuality as "that thing," showing her repugnance which was echoed on the dance-floor at Moon Lake Casino when she said the fatal words, "I know! I know! You disgust me..." It is in this extract that we come to understand the significance of the Varsouviana. Her husband, the man he had been in bed with and Blanche all went to the casino but pretending nothing was wrong. This pretence fooled no one and Williams' shows it looming through the use of the Varsouviana in the minor key. After the shot the polka initially "stops abruptly" but "resumes in a major key" possibly suggesting the problem of Allen's sexuality was resolved and in some ways, it was almost a joy to be free from the pain his sexuality had caused him. The "Polka music increases" but unlike in every other scene of the play it fades out rather than requiring Blanche to drink until she hears "the shot" suggesting she is soothed by Mitch's affection rather than merely obliterating her problems through alcohol. ...read more.

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