A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers
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In scenes 3, 4, and 5, what is Blanche's attitude towards uncultivated people and money?

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When Blanche meets Mitch in scene 3, she says that he seems "superior to the other" men. He possesses a sensitivity which she mistakes for a cultivated mind. Later in the scene, Blanche laughs derisively at the imagined wives of the other men, whom she dismisses as "big, beefy things, I suppose." When Mitch asks her about her experience as a teacher, Blanche says that she has "the misfortune" of trying to "instill a bunch of bobby-soxers and drug-store Romeos with reverence for Hawthorne and Whitman and Poe." All of these comments imply that Blanche is very dismissive about anybody whom she deems uncultivated.

In scene 4, Blanche tells her sister about Shep Huntleigh, who she says she met on a trip she took as "an investment, thinking [she would] meet someone with a million dollars." She boasts that Shep Huntleigh has a "Cadillac convertible" and oil wells "all over Texas ... sprouting gold in his pockets." She tells her sister that she is "indifferent ... to money," but she places all of her hopes in this man who can rescue her from her current situation because of his enormous wealth. Later in the scene, she says that any money she has "just goes—it goes places." The implication here is that Blanche is wasteful with money. She relies upon the fantasy of Shep's money in part because she has been so wasteful with her own.

Later in scene 4, Blanche tells her sister that Stanley is "sub-human—something not quite to the stage of humanity yet!" She implores her sister not to "hang back with the brutes," meaning Stanley, and to acknowledge that there are "such things as art ... poetry and music." This tirade emphasizes the idea that Blanche is utterly dismissive of anybody she regards as uncultivated. She despises Stanley so much because she thinks that he is an extreme example of an uncultivated man.

In scene 6, Blanche claims that the perfume she is wearing costs "twenty-five dollars an ounce" and admits that she "love[s] to be waited on." She doesn't say much else in this scene about money or about uncultivated people, but these brief references to her expensive tastes and the fact that she clearly likes to regard herself as cultivated suggest that she equates cultivation with money. Blanche perhaps feels likes she needs to indulge her expensive tastes in order to be—or, at least, to appear—cultivated.

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