In what way is Blanche a powerful character?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Blanche is determined to survive in spite of all the odds against her. She has lost her home through foreclosure. She has lost her job as a schoolteacher because of her improper interest in young boys. She has lost her reputation for the same reason, which makes it impossible to get another teaching job and forces her to move away. In addition to these handicaps, she is getting old and losingĀ  her former beauty and sexual attractiveness. Yet she moves in with her sister and her sister's husband Stanley and seems determined to hang onto this precarious shelter in spite of the fact that the place is obviously small and Stella is expecting a baby. Blanche is well aware that Stanley doesn't like her and wants her to leave, but she is tenacious. She tries to turn Stella against Stanley by making him seem uncouth and socially inferior. At the same time she tries to charm Stanley's buddy into marrying her, purely for the sake of survival. Stanley recognizes her as a phony Southern belle who is desperate and unscrupulous. He is forced to destroy her in order to save his marriage, and he does so ruthlessly. Even at the end she is trying to use her charm to manipulate the man who comes to take her to the asylum.


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