How does Blanche's fascination with teenage boys relate to her decline and fall in A Streetcar Named Desire?

1 Answer | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Tennessee Williams uses Blanche's fascination with teenage boys as a way to characterize her. It makes her seem somewhat decadent, a relic of the Old South. Her perversity leads to her decline and fall mainly because it causes her to lose her job as a high school teacher. Without any income, she is forced to go to New Orleans and move in only "temporarily" with Stanley and Stella. She and Stanley dislike each other from the beginning because they are such different types. She is a sort of old Southern aristocrat, and he is defiantly lower class. Because she disapproves of him as a husband for her sister, she tries subtly to undermine their relationship in spite of the fact that Stella is expecting a baby. Stanley may be uncouth but he is not stupid. He does some investigating and finds out about Blanche's being fired for taking too much interest in her young male students. He finds out other unfavorable information about her as well. Stanley uses this to weaken Stella's sympathy and support for her sister. It appears that Blanche's stay in the apartment will be terminated. She becomes desperate and eventually cracks up mentally. (Tennessee wrote a play about a man who was attracted to teenage boys. It is titled The Long Hot Summer. The man also meets a tragic end.)

We’ve answered 318,913 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question