Tennessee Williams purposefully addresses Blanche DuBois's internal disorder by utilizing the motif of light and darkness in order to reveal a deeper level of justification in Blanche's actions. The motif of light and dark works to represent enlightenment and ignorance;it also represents innocence and sin. Darkness is portrayed as a response to light - after light, darkness follows. Light is addressed most adequately with relation to the astrological imagery included in the play. Darkness in the play is brought out through Blanche's actions and imagery with the use of imagery such as shadows, dark meat, and an abuse of alcohol. Desire drives the light within the frameworks of the play. Tennessee Williams shows the audience that the light and dark world are not only illusion, but discriminatory factors which falsely antagonize and worsen Blanche's condition. Likewise, Williams justifies Blanche's actions in such a subtle manner that the viewer of the play would require diligence and a sense of open mindedness to sympathize with Blanche's actions.
Much of the blame for Blanche's misdirection is a socially constructed bias which works against her because of her role as a female in society. Despite the destructive and psychotic nature of darkness and light in Blanche's world, her family and friends seem to leave her to fend for herself, while enabling her to destroy herself. The cast does little to assist and redirect her life. In this sense they are responsible for Blanche's downfall.
Light is traditionally portrayed as a symbol of knowledge and innocence. Tennessee Williams uses the traditional concepts in subtle ways in order to allow his symbols to portray multiple meanings. The most obvious and apparent astrological symbol is Stella's name which means star in Latin. This is relevant because, like a moth or a fly, Blanche travels to any light she can find. Therefore Blanche comes to stay with Stella, the glowing light that draws the...