What is the role of old lady in the play A Streetcar Named Desire? She is dressed in black that Blanche hallucinates, selling flowers for funerals, which foreshadows Blanche's future.

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The old woman in "A Streetcar Named Desire" is walking around selling flowers to mourn the dead. She is a seemingly minor character of little importance, but her presence here is figurative and mirrors the events of the story.

Blanche is struggling to come to grips with her past life, trying to reconcile with herself the prostitution she undertook to make ends meet. However, she says she can no longer live with it—essentially, she is killing her former self. The woman on the street is echoing this sentiment, offering up a chance to "mourn the dead", which is Blanche, figuratively.

As she deteriorates in the moment, she becomes more fragile and less cohesive, echoing the woman speaking in Spanish that is not understood by the people around them—Blanche is no longer coherent and is having a difficult time understanding herself and her life.

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To truly understand the role of the Mexican woman selling flowers in "A Streetcar Named Desire", one must translate what she calls as she walks the streets.

The flower seller calls out "flores para los muertos".  This means "flowers for the dead". Blanche has just had an argument with Mitch and he tells her that he cannot live with the truth of her past (she was a prostitute.) After Mitch leaves, Blanche stumbles to the door of Stanley's flat and sees the woman selling flowers.

The symbolism of this is two-fold. First, Blanche's language becomes indistinguishable- her words mirror the foreign tongue of the Mexican. This shows that she is no longer able to be understood, literally and figuratively.

Second, and perhaps the most profound, is the foreshadowing that is provided here.  The Mexican woman is calling for people to buy flowers to show respect for their dead. This foreshadows Blanche's own figurative death.  Mentally and physically, Blanche's life is over. Mentally, Blanche has lost it. Physically, she knows now that her youth, and chances for marital happiness, are gone.

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