In A Streetcar Named Desire, what does Blanche tell Stanley about illusion and truth and what truth does she reveal?

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In scene two, Stanley is under the impression that Blanche has sold Belle Reve and kept the money to herself, which prompts him to approach her and bring up the "Napoleonic code." In typical Blanche fashion, she laughs at his anger and continues to act charming. Whenever Stanley demands that Blanche tell him the truth about the estate, Blanche responds by saying,

"I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is fifty percent illusion, but when a thing is important I tell the truth" (Williams, 37).

Blanche's comment reveals her understanding that a woman's charm is somewhat based on her ability to appear mysterious and not expose her faults. Her affinity for fantasy is also revealed in her comment to Stanley and corresponds to how she chooses to present herself. As a mentally ill woman suffering from her traumatic life experiences, Blanche relies on delusion and fantasy to protect her emotions. She would prefer to suppress her tainted past and portray the image of an aristocratic...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 732 words.)

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