What are some quotes that suggest the rape in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are a couple of quotes by Stanley in scene 10 that suggest that he is going to rape Blanche. He reaches a peak of exasperation with her in this scene over her continual lying and drinking. She is terrified by his anger and tries to leave the house, asking him to let her pass. At first he appears wholly disdainful of her: ‘You think I’ll interfere with you? Ha-ha!’ But then, his attitude suddenly seems to change, and he adds: ‘Come to think of it, maybe you wouldn’t be bad to – interfere with’. All of a sudden he become quiet and extremely menacing. This is the first sign that he is planning something dastardly in relation to Blanche.

 The scene then explodes into violence as Blanche snatches up a bottle to defend herself against Stanley and he grabs her, telling her to drop the bottle because ‘we’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!’ This is a reference to how Blanche has actually flirted with him in the past, because despite being repelled by his coarseness, she is somewhat physically attracted to him. She even admits this in a way to Stella earlier, when she says that ‘the only way to live with such a man is to go to bed with him’ (scene 4). It is true that Stanley has formerly not shown any interest in her, but now, in this seething atmosphere, he allows his violent nature to take over completely and he attacks her, thus grimly fulfilling their 'date'.

Another quote that suggests the rape occurs in the following scene. When preparing for Blanche’s removal to a mental home, Stella confides to Eunice: ‘I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley’ (scene 11). This is a hint that Blanche has told her of the rape, but she cannot bring herself to accept it, because that would destroy her relationship with Stanley. It is ironic that when Blanche tells the truth for once, she is not believed.

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