Assess the significance of why Blanche would feel guilty regarding the story about Allan Grey's death.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Blanche's feelings of guilt over her husband's death are highly significant to her characterization.  Blanche's feelings of guilt are revealed in this story.  Blanche feels guilty about her inability to be able to sustain a marriage.  At the same time, Blanche wonders what she did to drive Allan Grey into the arms of another man.  The issue of homosexuality is shown to be one that is misunderstood by society.  There is a touch of Blanche's self- indictment about her own feminine charms in Allan's homosexuality.  This might be part of the reason why she is so prone to demonstrating her sexuality in areas that are not socially acceptable, believing in a faint attempt that this will undo her own perceived failures in the realm of the personal.  The fact that the shame caused at her discovery of his homosexuality and the suicide that results only compounds her own feelings of guilt and resentment.  One sees that so much of Blanche is brought out in this story.  Her guilt from it becomes one of the main reasons why she wishes to flee into a world of nostalgia and a world in which she can plunge herself apart from the world of the present.  It was this particular story that brings to light the many levels of neurosis that exist with Blanche's psyche, something that makes her fundamentally ill- equipped to deal with the world of Stanleys.


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