• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

First Perceptions of Blanche Dubois - “What are your early perceptions of Blanche?” In what ways has Tennessee Williams created this response?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

First Perceptions of Blanche Dubois "What are your early perceptions of Blanche?" In what ways has Tennessee Williams created this response? The delineation of Blanche Dubois as seen in the first chapter of Tennessee Williams 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is one of astonishment and acceptance. She has obviously had to travel some distance to reach her destination and I think that this has taken its toll on Blanche and affects her patience later on in the scene, and which may also explain her growing hysteria. The first time the Blanche is depicted by the stage directions, the reader (or view of the play) obviously notices that she does not fit in with the poor, run down area of New Orleans that she had entered: "Her expression is one of shocked disbelief... looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district...Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light. There is something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggests a moth" From this description, we can infer that, like a ...read more.

Middle

Towards the end of their conversation, Blanche seems to get impatient, as she wants to be left alone and has a small outburst: "What I meant was I'd like to be left alone". I think this reflects Blanche' belief of her social class, and that she is above others (especially the black, lower class). After her encounter with Eunice, Blanche is given a short amount of time to reflect on her new surroundings, which she is obviously not comfortable with or use to by her statement to herself: "I've got to keep hold of myself". This shows the tension and hysteria building up within her, which will later on be released. Blanche is much more open and talkative with her sister, and is thrilled to see her, although disappointed to see that Stella is living in such an area of New Orleans. There seems to be tension between the two sisters, created by their uneasiness of how they talk of their past and the anxious, tension building stares that they give each other, and the way that Blanche seems to control the ...read more.

Conclusion

that she had not had one and that she would only drink one a day. I think this may show Blanche' nervousness and what she may do when she is nervous. She therefore may use alcohol as an escape from reality, and the place, which she finds herself in. Blanche seems a bit uneasy around Stanley when they first encounter, and is much less talkative than she is to Stella (possibly, again due to her social class beliefs). Also, I think she is not used to people being so direct with her, as Stanley asks her a personal question to do with her last love quite early. This ends in a climax and her proclaiming: "I'm afraid 'm going to be sick". Looking at the scene as a whole, I can see that Blanche is not use to her new environment, and that she is finding it difficult to get used to her settings, possibly because she was caught completely by surprise when she discovered where her sister lived. This I think has took its toll on Blanche as it has weakened her throughout the first scene and made her slightly hysterical. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay engages at an okay level to the task. There is a sustained discussion of Blanche's perceptions, but I feel this could be made more explicit by discussing the audience's response. Yes, saying "This shows the tension" is correct, ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay engages at an okay level to the task. There is a sustained discussion of Blanche's perceptions, but I feel this could be made more explicit by discussing the audience's response. Yes, saying "This shows the tension" is correct, but I would like to have seen an exploration of how the audience may react to the situation. This would then allow a progression into why Williams has chosen to present Blanche like this at the very beginning of the play, suggesting her downfall. Examiners are looking for these sorts of insights, beyond simple analysis. It was a shame to see the essay mention "the reader (or view of the play)" as it should surely be the other way round. It is important you show understanding of theatrical devices that a text cannot offer, and I feel through this statement it shows a lack of awareness.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is okay. I would've liked to have seen much more focus on Williams' techniques, rather than discussing the plot and the way Blanche acts. This essay has the potential to be good as it picks up on the main points, but there just needs to be more phrases such as "Williams uses the appearance of Blanche on stage" or "Williams has Blanche seem out of place" to show who is in control. I would advise that you embed quotes, rather than including a lengthy one, which is evident in the second paragraph here. By embedding short quotes, you are able to closely analyse language and pick up on specific words and techniques rather than generalise other long passages. In a question like this, it is key that you discuss the audience response. Comments such as "There seems to be tension between the two sisters" are good, but there needs to be explicit discussion of how the audience would respond to this.

Quality of writing

The essay has a poor structure. There is some attempt at an introduction, but it was a shame to see reference to chapter and not scene. I would've liked to see some evidence on an argument being formed in the introduction, looking at how Williams presents her as hysteric and out of place. Points seem to be jumbled and short here, and this is clear through the numerous paragraphs. Try and group ideas together, and then comment on techniques as a collection. There is no need to have a paragraph with one sentence such as "Blanche is much more open and talkative with her sister, and is thrilled to see her, although disappointed to see that Stella is living in such an area of New Orleans." This only suggests to the examiner you have little to say on the point, showing your inability to expand and analyse thoroughly. I'm not a big fan of using the first person, and especially phrases such as "I think she is". In my opinion, these suggest an overly personal view, whereas it should be backed up with evidence. Phrases such as "the evidence clearly suggests" or "it could be argued that" will make your argument more convincing. There are often errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar such as "I think has took its toll" which detract from good analysis. A simple proof read should rid of these mistakes.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by groat 20/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Scene V, Blanche: "Come in"-"Ahhh Merciii" Discuss this extract in relation to the rest ...

    4 star(s)

    During the scene he speaks nervously and makes frequent glances towards the door portraying his wish to escape form Blanches and making it obvious that he is uncomfortable with the situation.

  2. Holes - How did Stanley's character change and develop as the story progresses?

    Later in the story when Stanley is faced with a choice of attaining an easy form of physical labour, he takes the choice and has Zero dig part of his hole. This is the time where Stanley seems to change and takes advantage of the situation.

  1. How does Tennessee Williams use of symbolism add to the dramatic impact at the ...

    Towards the end of scene one however, we see Blanche as heavy drinker. This is because as she is left alone in her sisters house she looks for a bottle of whisky, then when her sister offers a drink she pretends that she doesn't know where the bottle is and

  2. Consider how Tennessee Williams attempts to engage the sympathy of the audience by the ...

    It is because she seems so pathetic that we find ourselves once again feeling sympathy for her. Williams establishes Blanche as highly insecure. She seeks attention regarding her appearance in a hope that she will be reassured on it. For example, 'You haven't said a word about my appearance'.

  1. How Much Sympathy Does the Audience Feel for Blanche at the End of the ...

    He appears almost patronizing in the way he speaks to her, 'Let me enlighten you on a point or two, baby'. I sympathise with Stella and yet I am also angered by the fact that she allows herself to rely on him so much.

  2. The birthday party

    I liked the idea of pier pressure because it could be used to get people to do things at you're command. In the scenes we are practicing at the moment, Duncan Gray and I have to circle Stanley asking him questions about his life which he would rather not answer.

  1. How successfully has Williams introduced the main characters and ideas of A Streetcar named ...

    It is used by Stanley to keep his control in the household which he expects snapping at Stella when he is told what to do "Since when do you give me orders?" This is especially the case when Blanche arrives and his control in the household seems threatened as Blanche tries to (in his mind)

  2. The Analysis of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

    This way the play is similar to a Greek tragedy, in which the protagonist cannot escape the destiny of her family. The first reference to Blanche's fear of light is present in her first meeting with Stella. She asks her to "turn that over-light off!"

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work