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A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

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 1. Why is Stella taking Blanche out for the evening? What is Stanley’s reaction? 2. At the beginning of the scene, Blanche is taking a bath. Why? What is symbolic about this bath? 3. Why does Stella ask Stanley to understand and be nice to Blanche? How does Stanley receive the news that Belle Reve has been lost? 4. Why does Stanley think that Blanche has “swindled” Stella? 5. How does Stanley react when Stella tells him to wait outside with her? Why do you think he acts this way? 6. What does Blanche have to say about truth and illusion? 7. How do Blanche and Stanley seem to feel about each other? Support your answer with evidence from the play. 8. What does the appearance of the tamale vendor suggest at the end of the scene? 

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As stated previously by my fellow educator, only one question is allowed at one time. I will explain what happens when Stanley finds out that Belle Reve has been lost.

At the time Stella tells Stanley that Belle Reve has been lost, it is clear to the audience that Stanley does not really like Blanche. At least, we know for sure that he does not trust her.

Therefore, when Stella tells him about "losing" Belle Reve, Stanley quickly points out the fact that, according to Louisiana's Napoleonic Laws, whatever property comes into the marriage belongs to both husband and wife. Since Belle Reve was the property of Blanche's and Stella's family, Stanley, as Stella's husband, also has ownership rights to the property.

For this reason, he asks for paperwork showing any documentation of the property being sold and for how much. Stella—who is not a bright woman—prefers to take a detour around the conversation, but Stanley won't have it. He is not buying the idea that the property could just be "lost."

He shows Stella the large amount of dresses, furs, and jewelry that Blanche owns. Stanley feels that these things were purchased with whatever money was made from selling Belle Reve, and thus he feels that both Stella and himself have been "swindled" by Blanche. Essentially, he gets really mad and feels that Blanche is lying and stealing from him.

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Only one question can be answered per posting, according to e-Notes policy. No doubt you can find answers to some of your questions about A Streetcar Named Desire in Homework Help by clicking on the reference link below. Otherwise you can submit one question per day if you are not a premium member. I will take the first question on your list. "Why is Stella taking Blanche out for the evening? What is Stanley's reaction?"

Stella tells Stanley specifically that she is taking Blanche out for the evening for dinner and a show "because it's your poker night." Stella knows that these poker nights involve a lot of heavy drinking, cursing, and arguing, and sometimes violence. She wants to guard her sensitive sister against such an animalistic scene, although she is quite used to it herself. Stella says:

"I'm going to try to keep Blanche out till the party breaks up because I don't know how she would take it. So we'll go to one of the little places in the Quarter afterwards and you'd better give me some money."

This is the first time that Stanley begins to realize how Blanche is going to be competing with him for Stella's affection and attention. He will soon have to be competing for these things with the coming baby as well. He is used to being the most important person in the household, and he shows his resentment by complaining about not getting a good, hot supper.

"How about my supper, huh? I'm not going to no Galatoire's for supper!"

Blanche and Stanley are two selfish, strong-willed people who are bound to clash. In addition to having to eat a cold supper, Stanley has to fork out money for Stella's and Blanche's evening out. This puts him in a bad mood, which shows up in Scene Three, "The Poker Night," during the poker game.

"When I'm losing you want to eat! Ante up! Openers? Openers? Get y'r ass off the table, Mitch. Nothing belongs on a poker table but cards, chips and whiskey."

The poker games probably doesn't "break up" as early as usual because Stanley is losing and won't let anybody leave. Stanley eventually creates an uproar and horrifies Blanche. The fact that he is losing at poker and that he is probably drinking more than usual do nothing to soften the bad mood he starts off with at the beginning of Scene Two. Chances are he suspects Blanche of bringing him bad luck.

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