Create a character analysis for Blanche using three physical/three non-physical traits and quotes from scenes 1-3.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Tennesse Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois is a character of weakness, confusion, and deception in direct opposition to Stanley Kowalski, the strong,well-built, crude and direct husband of Blanche's sister, Stella.

When Blanche arrives to live with Stella, her first words are those of ambivalence and confusion:  "They told me to take a streetcar named Desire"; in addition, the double entendre on the word Desire is presented as Blanche rides a metaphorical streetcar of desire/lust in her life.  As she talks to her sister, she is reluctant to divulge why she has left New Orleans and her job as a teacher (it is because of her lust); however, in her weakness she tells Stella in Scene I, "I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can't be alone."

In her confusion of what is real and what is not, Blanche tells her sister of having lost Belle Reve ["beautiful dream"], but tries to blame Stella, contending, "But you are the one that abandoned Belle Reve, not I!"  When Stanley questions her later about the estate, Stella tells him,

I know I fib a good bit.  After all, a woman's charm is fifty per cent illusion, but when a thing is important I tell the truth, and this is the truth:  I haven't cheated my sister or you or anyone else as long as I have lived. (Scene 2)

Furthering this character trait of uncertainly and confusion, the author, Williams writes, "There is something about her uncertain manner...that suggests a moth."  Yet, while she flits from one idea to another, Blanche is not drawn to the light, but rather shuns it, just as she shuns the truth, but when confronted, Blanche is truthful as she finally divulges why she has left New Orleans,  Unfortunately, the light of the truth is too much for Blanche, and she, like the moth, expires in its light.

mkcapen1 | Student

Blanche is a woman who is suffering from the need to create a delusion for herself in order to cope with the stress of her life.  She started out as a young woman with money and prestige.  She married a man whom she caught with another man.  He later killed himself.  Blanche has never come to terms with the guilt that she feels over his death as well as the rejection she had felt by his choice of a male partner.  She had been a genteel southern woman who tried to marry well and planed to live her life in comfort.

The reality for Blanche comes when she is forced to have to work and finds her beauty diminishing.  She becomes desperate as she has lost her position as a school teacher due to her having sexual relations with a student.  Blanche has crossed boundaries that have led her to feel more guilt and desperation.  Her last hope for emotional and physical support is to live with her sister and her husband.

Blanche is appalled at the type of dwelling in which her sister resides.  She decorates the place so that she can mask it for her own benefit.  In desperation she dates Mitch; a man she feels is beneath her but may help her out of her problem by supporting her.  When Stanley reveals the truth and her last hope is dissolved all unresolved issues surface and she has a nervous breakdown.

user545091 | Student


peterrrrzor | Student

she is anoying

Read the study guide:
A Streetcar Named Desire

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question