Blanche Dubois is a New Orleans native, and member of a formerly well-to-do family who has now lost both its money and its prestige. This has not deterred Blanche from desperately trying to cling to the past, still possessing the mannerisms and empty hopes of a woman who wants to desperately climb back up the social ladder.
Due to her oversexed nature, Blanche has become involved with several men, in hopes of recapturing her long gone years where she would be the center of attention, and men used to make her high promises. It is years later now, and Blanche has not entirely lost her appeal, but certainly age and the lack of cash have played a number.
Furthermore, Blanche has a dark past: She is an alcoholic, a potential sex addict, and she lost her husband to suicide. She has also had illicit relations with just about every man she has met. She can no longer hope for a gentleman caller of the caliber that she would want, so instead, she has opted as a last resort to conquer Mitch, a semi-educated and blue collar man who is her last chance to clean up her reputation.
Unfortunately, she is entirely dependant on her sister, who is married to Mr. Kowalski, a man who continuously bullies both Blanche and her sister. The snobbery that continuously accompanies Blanche leads Kowalski to ruin her chances with Mitch. He also brutally rapes her, declares her insane, and sends her to a sanatorium.
Blanche's sadness is directly proportional to the vacuous nature of her life. She has nothing to life for, nor nobody to live for, nor with. Her ostentatious cling to the past is nothing but to cover the superficiality of her existence, and the lack of everything of what made her so special in her better years.