How does the idea of 'It is substantial that the people we adore comprehend our reality' apply to the play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The idea that "it is substantial that the people we adore comprehend our reality" would seem to apply more to the character of Stella in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire.

This is so because Stella obviously does not accept reality for what it is. Granted, Blanche does not accept reality for what it is either, but at least Blanche has had to face the realities of loss, humiliation and, in the end, she is indeed punished for everything she has ever done.

Stella, however, has built a reality of her own and expects Blanche, and the world, to understand it. This is part of her upbringing, though. She was obviously brought up in abundance by lax parents who did not do much when Stella eloped with Stanley. Moreover, she was lucky enough to escape reality when the money ran out in Belle Reve, when her parents died, and when the home was lost. All that time, Stella was enjoying Stanley's rogue ways, and perhaps even pretending to live the life of an exiled princess.

In Stella's world, Stanley is her rescuer, and her cheap living conditions constitute a happy home. Stanley's physical and psychological abuse represent love in Stella's opinion, and this is why she has a hard time understanding Blanche's prompting to leave and change her life.

It is precisely because she cannot get Blanche to comprehend her reality that Stella opts to selfishly turn her back on her sister and allows for her end to come. Stella is obviously a very shallow and selfish character whose lack of experience in life has rendered her a weak, co-dependent, and unintelligent woman. As a result of her lack of intelligence, she opts to live in oblivion and in denial. The world that she has created in her mind has become her reality, and she would have very much liked for Blanche to comprehend it for what it is, even if it is merely a lie.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial