Discuss how Blanche is introduced to the audience in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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

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I think that the initial introduction to Blanche reveals much about her.  She enters with a suitcase and appears dreadfully out of synchronicity in the environment of modern New Orleans.  This helps establish the idea that Blanche really is not in line with the world around her.  She is assessing the shabby value of the world in which her sister lives, reflecting part of her personality that is constantly assessing and placing value on superficial reality.  Yet, at the same time, the fact that she appears uneasy to Eunice and is searching for a drink helps to bring out the neurosis that exists underneath her exterior, something that will end up playing a major role in how the audience understands her as a mass of contradictions in terms of being unable to fully understand what reality is and her role within it.  I think that the initial introduction between the sisters also reflects much in Blanche's character.  Stella seems at ease with her world, while Blanche is not.  The sisters' embrace is one that seems stilted, something emotionally suspended.  This lack of complete affect between them is also going to mark each of their character developments in the course of the drama.


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