Scene V, Blanche: "Come in"-"Ahhh Merciii" Discuss this extract in relation to the rest of the text paying attention to structure, form and use of language.

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Scene V, Blanche: “Come in”-“Ahhh Merciii” Discuss this extract in relation to the rest of the text paying attention to structure, form and use of language.

The ending section of scene five of Tennessee Williams’s play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ has provoked much confusion and debate as to the writer’s motives in regards to the portrayal of Blanche.

One school of thought on the matter is that, in spite of the fact that Williams largely based the character of Blanche upon himself his primary aim in the play is to punish her for her failure to show empathy towards her homosexual husband Allan. Williams was of course a homosexual himself, living in a largely homophobic world where gayness was not a talked about subject. He often brought the issue up in his other works such as ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ where the characters Brick and Skipper and both portrayed as possible homosexuals.

Blanches lack of empathy and compassion are highlighted once again in this extract when she totally fails to take into account the feelings of a second young man, and instead uses him to live out her fantasies of desire for her late husband. During the exchange between Blanche and the young man she is portrayed as seductive and dominant “I want to kiss you” making it clear that she is the one initiating the situation, this is a dramatic contrast to her normal persona around other men such as Mitch and Stanley where she makes herself out to be both innocent and pure. This extract is one of the places where her illusion starts to slip and her past actions are hinted at to the audience.

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Blanches reaction to you young mans mention of cherry soda “you make my mouth water” has a strong sexually reference, a cherry being a metaphor for virginity, which probably only Blanche is aware of. This shows that she is simply playing games with the young man using him for her own enjoyment. In the next scene Blanche treats Mitch in a very similar way, after discovering that he does not speak French she says “Voulez-vous couches avec mo ice soir?” meaning ‘would you like to sleep with me this evening?’ which is the call of a French prostitute.

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This is an impressive essay, including many quotations and cross references to show the writer's knowledge of the text. The arguments are relevant and wide ranging, showing a sophisticated understanding of the ideas discussed. ****