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Blanche Dubois lies. She creates a story of who she is. Explore the effects of her self...

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beehappy | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2011 at 2:17 AM via web

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Blanche Dubois lies. She creates a story of who she is. Explore the effects of her self created story in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 8, 2011 at 2:33 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that there needs to be a bit of clarity offered in the discussion.  Indeed, there is much truth to the fact that Blanche "lies."  Yet, I think that a bit of ambiguity is present because the act of lying seems to imply that there is some self- serving motive present in the act of deception.  I don't see Blanche's "lies" as something to bring about direct and self interested benefits to her.  For example, she is not lying to gain material prosperity or to consolidate political power.  Her "lies" are committed for several reasons, one of which is to preserve her own sense of identity in a world that has changed everything that used to define meaning for her.  Blanche's lies are done to block out or to move aside some horrific past traumas that would undermine anyone's sense of reality, and eventually undercuts her own.  Her own background with her husband and his suicide, her indiscretions as a teacher, as well as a past that has eroded under her very psychological feet were contributing factors in her deception.  The creation of her own sense of self impacts other characters in the work, most notably Stanley.  He is threatened by what Blanche represents and sees through them as a potential offensive to take away what he has constructed for himself and for Stella.  On another level, I think that Blanche's linguistic and psychological constructions help to bring light to Stella in better understanding the choices in front of her.  While Stella eventually sides with Stanley's conception of the good, she does recognize her mistake to a certain extent at the end of the drama in regards to Blanche's institutionalization.  In the end, I think that Blanche's self- created stories have to be seen in the context of her psychology and identity.

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beehappy | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2011 at 9:31 PM (Answer #2)

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Thank you for your answer, but what are precisely the effects of her illusions and lies on Stanley, her sister Stella and Mitch?

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