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

Who do you believe is the most to blame for Blanche’s fate at the end of ‘ A Streetcar Named Desire’?

Extracts from this document...


Who do you believe is the most to blame for Blanche's fate at the end of ' A Streetcar Named Desire'? How far do you think Blanche qualifies as a tragic heroine during the course of the play? There are many connecting themes that lead to Blanche's long-anticipated downfall. These themes I will discuss in my essay. She is under the influence of fate, her own sexual the desire for money. Major themes explored are death, fate and madness. Ironically the title incorporates the word 'desire', as we know this as an underlying theme in the novel. The fact that Williams saw an actual streetcar in Old Orleans gives the impression that William's play is close to own heart; we know that his sister could be viewed as a representation of Blanche in the play. She too had casual, frequent encounters much like Blanche has in the play. She was a nymphomaniac who was finally lobotomised and sent to an asylum. It is clear that 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is personal to the Playwright. Blanche has annoying obsessive behaviour and it is clear that the Writer portrays Blanche as a person who would be clearly hell to live with. Blanche is first introduced in the play as being 'moth' like; immediately she is compared in her smartness to the shabby, rundown street ironically named, 'Elysian Fields': " She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice... " Her appearance is grand and starkly contrasted to the grubby settings. ...read more.


Because - as you must have noticed - I'm - not very well . . ." Later on in the play the audience sees Blanches character unfold. We see that she is highly manipulative and flirts with men to get them to do what she wants, although it does not work with Stanley as we see early on: " [She smiles at him radiantly] Do you think it possible that I was once considered to be attractive?. . ." This quotation is showing that Blanche is treading dangerously in flirting with her sister's husband. We have a great deal of insight into Blanche's sexual background. We know from her past that she was very promiscuous and she indulged into one-night stands at the Hotel Flamingo, back in Laurel. Blanche does this in order to feel needed because she wants to be noticed: " You have got to be seductive . . .put on soft colours... and glow make a little temporary magic and glow" We feel sympathy that Blanche has to sleep with men but this is very seedy behaviour and very much a personal weakness that Blanche cannot change. Her promiscuity leads her to the acknowledgement that her life is nothing in the hotel she tries to get away from her past but it keeps catching up with her. Stanley and Mitch remind her of this. Blanche again in her critical speech about magic stresses the importance of appearance: " I don't know how much longer I can turn the trick. You have to be soft and attractive, and I'm fading now." ...read more.


Also like Blanche he seemed incapable of staying in a permanent relationship. To be driven by desire, the author seems to be saying, is self-destructive, and those who are carried away by overpowering passion are unable to escape. The longing of Blanche for Mitch to marry her arises not from the fact that she wants a sexual encounter but that she wants a secure roof over her head, which she can call her own. " The poor mans paradise - is a little peace." In reference to the set question I do personally believe that Blanche qualifies as a tragic heroine to a large extent. The Shakespearean concept that death is the usual penalty is does not qualify. We know that Blanche does not die, merely that she is taken to an asylum. I believe, and it is very clear in the play that Blanche has a lot of personal weakness, which reinforces the concept of a tragic heroine, although I would not put all the blame down to this fact. There are people around Blanche that aid the mental deterioration such as the rape by Stanley, and the rejection from Mitch. Blanche is self-destructive, destined to her tragic end. Her personal weaknesses are hugely to blame for this. Tennessee Williams apparently came to see the character of Blanche as a real living person who would go on living outside of the play, he also believed that she would go on living outside of the asylum and marry again. 1 ...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

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. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the deterioration of Blanche's state of mind in the play A Streetcar Named ...

    3 star(s)

    Blanche is very self-indulgent and obsessive about her appearance and this gets stronger through the play. Stanley is very egocentric and Blanche finds it hard to deal with, this fact annoys Stanley even more. When Stanley hits Stella on poker night we get the first sign of Blanche's hysterics and how she is not used to someone like Stanley.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Was Stanley Kowalski the reason for Blanche's downfall?

    3 star(s)

    "From a tinny piano being played with the infatuated fluency of brown fingers. This "Blue Piano" expresses the spirit of the life, which goes on here. This gives us the idea that music (especially blues) is very important in the play as it represents the character and atmosphere of the rundown quarter of the city.

  1. The Role of the Past in a Streetcar Named Desire

    - show both of them holding onto their past. The silver metal case symbolizes Mitch's closed nature, inflexibility, as well as how he is not open for new ideas. Blanche's love letters, on the other hand, symbolizes her young husband, who committed suicide as a result from her disapproval of his homosexuality.

  2. Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire

    There is a constant repetition of Blanche's hatred and disgust for Stanley, throughout the script. Blanche: What you are talking about is brutal desire - just - Desire! - the name of that rattle-trap street-car that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another...

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire

    talented young man was a degenerate.', Stella excuses Blanche by reminding Stanley that Blanche's failed marriage left her hurt and vulnerable. The consequences of avoiding the truth prove devastating. Stanley becomes aggressive and his ego surfaces as he belittles Blanche, 'I've been on to you from the start!

  2. Plot of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

    she wants to get out of, she begins to make plans for her and Stella to run away. > Stanley returns home, he recognises that Blanche has been trying to poison Stella against him. Scene 5 - > Upstairs Eunice and Steve argue about a blonde that he has been chasing around.

  1. How effective a title do you think "A Streetcar Named Desire" is for ...

    Stanley demonstrates no repentance for his fierce actions; Stella has desires of having a complete family with the love she deserves from Stanley. She is seen as a fragile character who gets abuse from her husband. Now I have just analysed how "desire" is present amongst the characters in this

  2. Discuss and analyse the way Tennessee Williams presents Blanche and Stanley in A street ...

    Stanley and Blanche are very contrasting characters as Stanley is from a Polish working-class background and he is very straightforward whereas Blanche attempts to be very 'ladylike' and innocent. Stanley sees right through her illusions, flirtations and deceptions. Despite Blanche putting on the mask of innocence and purity, she is

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