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A streetcar named desire - Williams introduces us to Blanche in scene 1 - How is she characterized, and how do the other characters relate to her.

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Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire Williams introduces us to Blanche in scene 1. How is she characterized, and how do the other characters relate to her. The first description we are given of Blanche is in the stage notes near the start of scene 1. These are very important as they help to portray the atmosphere effectively, before the character speaks. We learn that she doesn't fit into the area where she is visiting her sister, " her appearance is incongruous to this setting." Therefore the impression is given that she is somewhat different from the other characters that have already been introduced in the play. Blanche is metaphorically compaired to a moth when she is described, "her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light...her uncertain manner...her white clothes...suggest a moth." This would give the audience the impression that she is a fragile, delicate person who seems to have issues from her past, which now affect the way she is. Blanche is obviously from an upper-class society and feels uncomfortable in Stella's home; "sits...very stiffly with her shoulders slightly hunched her hands tightly clutching her purse..." ...read more.


In appearance Blanche is timid looking, but in the conversations with Stella she seems to be the dominant of the two. This is shown when Stella says: " You never did give me a chance to say much, Blanche." Stella seems to be the more passive character. Blanche fits easily back into the role of the big sister, and is very patronizing towards Stella and also very critical of her looks and her home. " You messy child, you, you've spilt something on that pretty white lace collar." There is also a great deal of resent in her tone when Blanche says; " The summer dad died and you left us..." She must have had reasons for this resent so something must have happened after Stella left that makes Blanche act like this. When she isn't criticizing her sister, Blanche likes the subject of conversation to be about herself and her appearance. In the stage notes Stella is shown to be complimenting her sister because she feels she ought to. ...read more.


In the stage notes Stella's husband Stanley is described as a show-off, a wild character that has dirty mind and looks at women sizing them up, with sexual classifications. As soon as he sees Blanche he looks at her in a way she is not comfortable with, " (drawing involuntarily back from his stare)" Straight away, Blanche doesn't seem to like him, although she pretends to. Stanley has judged her within minuets. When she says she rarely drinks he says; " some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often." He doesn't believe her. Throughout their conversation until the end of the scene Blanche appears very uncomfortable and uneasy with Stanley presents, although he seems very relaxed and outgoing. " (He grins at Blanche. She tries unsuccessfully to smile back. There is a silence.") Even after a few minutes together there is a strange feeling of tension between these two characters, and suspense for the audience. In this first scene Blanche is characterised effectively, and a lot is learnt about her by the way she is described and the was the other characters respond to her, ...read more.

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