Discuss how the text portrays the idea that "The surroundings we survive in informs our reality."

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

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I think that Stella best embodies the idea that the surroundings in which we live does much to inform and helps to create our reality.  Stella was one who lived in the world of Belle Reve, much like Blanche.  Yet, in her marriage, she adapts and recognizes quickly that survival is dependent on success in the world in which she lives.  Stella demonstrates herself to be very practical in recognizing that her life with Stanley is where her ability to survive lies. The surroundings in which she lives helps her to define her reality.  Stella is heavily influenced by these conditions.  Stanley realizes this when he contrasts her to Blanche in how he "dragged" Stella down from the life she used to live at Belle Reve.  In this, it becomes clear that Stella's surroundings in which individuals survive helps to inform or even create one's own reality.  Stella is able to understand and fully grasp the idea that she cannot be completely loyal to Blanche because of her own condition in expecting a child.  In this, she recognizes that her surroundings heavily influence her and construct the reality in which survival is possible.

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