Blanche DuBois is an iconic character because she has created such an engrossing deception about herself, her past, and her present and because of her struggle to continue to maintain this deception throughout the play. She deceives Mitch, her suitor, about her age, her background, and her basic suitability as a future wife for him—but she does this out of desperation, as there are few avenues for survival open to her.
Stella, her sister, is also guilty of self-deception in a number of ways. Raised in the same class as Blanche, she continues to tell herself that her husband's brutish ways don't matter, when they do, and in the end she betrays her sister by believing Stanley over Blanche.
Stanley's self-deception is, in a way, a mirror of Stella's. He pretends that Blanche's characterizations of him don't matter, but they rankle him badly, and lead to his attack on her.
All three of the major characters are revealed to have been surviving, to an extent, on...
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