How is the theme of loneliness exemplified in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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Many characters experience loneliness in this play, but the one who could be said to be the most lonely- and who acts upon that loneliness- is Blanche DuBois.

Blanche spends all of her time in the play trying to create an image of herself that doesn't really exist. Because she tries to portray herself as someone she is not, she is very lonely and never really allows anyone to get to know her true self. The most obvious symbol of this is the paper lantern. When she is speaking with Mitch in scene three, she asks him to cover the light bulb with the paper lantern, saying “I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” Blanche has difficulty being in full light because she is afraid Mitch- or anyone else for that matter- will be able to see her flaws. This pertains not only to her physical features, but her personality as well. She doesn’t want anyone getting too close for fear they will get to know who she really is, creating a very lonely life for herself in which she is always pushing people away from the person she really is.

Other characters are clearly lonely as well. Mitch, for example, seems to gravitate toward Blanche simply because he is lonely and needs someone to lean on. His mother is ill, and he feels that he won’t have anyone to turn to when she is gone. Unfortunately, the Blanche that he thinks he is getting to know is not exactly the real Blanche. When he finds out the truth, he seems to go back on his desire to be in a committed relationship with Blanche, pushing her even further into her loneliness and despair.

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