essay for transport
by, 08-08-2011 at 01:13 PM (314 Views)
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Dubois fashions a nice appearance and high ideals in order to gain back the love she once lost. She feels guilt due to her former husband’s homosexual affair and tries to exert an air of impressiveness with men she meets in order to hide her feelings of inadequacy. Furthermore, after the death of all her family, Blanche becomes fearful of dying alone. Due to her only love occurring at a young age, Blanche portrays an air of youth in order to gain back the love she lost. Tennessee Williams shows Blanche’s yearning for new love and her constant facade in his use of color symbolism, lighting and Blanche’s jealous dialogue.Holding onto the Past
Throughout the play, Blanche guilt’s others for achieving what she desires. Blanche can hardly stand to acknowledge her sisters love of Stanley not only because he does not stand up to her ideals, but also because she yearns for the feeling of love. After discovering Stanley’s background and seeing his badges, she asks her sister “He had those on when you met him” (24)? Blanche searches for any reason to view Stanley and Stella’s love as superficial. When Stella begins to describe her love for Stanley, Blanche quickly changes the subject and begins to guilt her sister about her leaving Belle Reve. She accuses Stella of ignoring her situation, asking “Where were you! In bed with your – Polack!” (27). Blanche blames her own inability to find love on her sister, explaining “I took the blows in my face and body.” (26) Blanch claims that her responsibility in taking care of her dying family caused damage to her youth and appearance. Blanche believes that because Stella did not have to go through their deaths, she retained her youth and found love. Throughout Blanche’s dialogue, her jealousy of Stella and Stanley’s marriage shows.
Tennessee Williams uses color symbolism throughout the play in order to display Blanche’s fading ideals and the ideals of those around her. When Blanche first arrives in New Orleans she dresses “in a white suit” and “white gloves and hat” (15). The white color of her apparel portrays her high ideals and her perception of herself as innocent and uncorrupted despite her promiscuous past. As explained in the play, the name Blanche even means white. Blanche’s high ideals stem from her relationship with her only love. Stella claims Blanche “didn’t just love him but worshipped the ground he walked on” (102). She put everything she could into her marriage with the boy, but his affair made her feel inadequate. Blanche’s failure in retaining her youth and ideals show in her once white letters to her lover that begin “yellowing with antiquity” (41). Eunice describes Belle Reve as “A great big place with white columns” (17), displaying the heritage of both Stella and Blanche. “The “faded white stairs” (13) that lead to Stella and Stanley’s home show that Stella has begun to leave her high ideals and aristocratic thinking behind. However, upon Blanche’s arrival Stella finds herself stuck between Stanley and Blanche’s ways of thinking. She is shown wearing “a light blue satin kimono” (50) in scene three, but then later after becoming angry at Stanley she wears “white hat and gloves” (37). Stanley’s act of throwing the white radio out of his window shows his attitude towards Blanche’s idealism.
Lighting is used throughout the play in order to portray Blanche’s attempts of hiding her true age and behavior. When Blanche first meets Stella, Blanche demands that she “turn that over-light off!” (19). Blanche wants the light to be off in order to hide her aging. Blanche feels that she must retain the amount of youth she possessed during her first love as a seventeen year old. Blanche explains falling in love, “It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been in shadow” (95). Blanche views her life when she was in love as her peak years and tries to retain her seventeen year old self. When explaining the boy’s death, Blanche says “And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again” (96). After her husband’s suicide, she blames herself and begins to feel inadequate. She later explains “Such things as art- as poetry and music – such kinds of new light have come into the world.” (72). Her words show that she equates light with art, which she values most. Blanche is ashamed of her past and hides outside of the light because she does not value herself. Since she was so young when she found love, she believes she needs to keep up her youthful appearance and hide her past in order to fall in love again.
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Dubois hides behind a façade of high ideals and youthfulness. Blanche attempts to retain her seventeen year old self when she was able to feel love. She feels deficient and uses her high ideals as a charade to hide her promiscuous past. Tennessee Williams portrays Blanche’s guilt of her husband’s affair and her fear of dying alone in his use of color symbolism, lighting and the guilt she attempts to place in others. Blanche fights with reality throughout the play only for reality to eventually gain the upper hand.