How can Blanche's madness be shown using quotes?

Expert Answers

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

Although we don't discover the true depths of Blanche's mental illness until later, the signs are certainly there early on in the play, as we see from the following words she speaks to Stella:

I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can’t be alone! Because - as you must have noticed - I’m – not very well… [Her voice drops and her look is frightened.] (Scene 1).

We sense that something's not quite right with Blanche. When she says she's not very well, we know that she's not referring to her physical well-being. Ironically, it's not her being alone that eventually leads to her being committed but spending time with other people.

And funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths – not always. (Scene 1).

Blanche has experienced a number of deaths in her unhappy life. She can handle funerals, but the deaths themselves have clearly had a deeply damaging effect upon her mental health. The aching fragility of Blanche's mind is in evidence here; she is...

(The entire section contains 604 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team