Streetcar Named Desire Essay

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It is human nature for every person to have a vision of a perfect world and a perfect life. This imaginary world is exactly what Blanche DuBois has created for herself in the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. William’s tragic play of a husband, a wife, and a sister in law defines the struggle between realism and fantasy. The play follows Blanche Dubois who is too frail and insecure to handle what has become of her life. She wants to believe that she is young, beautiful and wealthy when in reality she is not. She lies, drinks and makes false illusions to break away from reality. Blanche moves in with her sister Stella Kowalski and her husband Stanley. Stanley’s world is dirty, ugly and sweaty. He uses desire to numb Stella and will even hit her at times. Stanley doesn’t allow Blanche’s illusions to work because it is a threat to his reality. Tennessee Williams develops the idea that when one relies too much on illusion, it becomes harder to grasp reality. The inability to differentiate between reality and illusion can often cause insanity. Deep down Blanche knows the harsh truth of her life but she uses illusions and lies to cover it up. One of her illusions is the “naked” light bulb which she disguises with the Chinese lantern. Blanche tries to avoid any light as an attempt to conceal her true nature and vanishing youth. Blanche tells Stanley, “I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or vulgar action”. This line shows that Blanche would rather live with kind and gentle words than accept the harsh reality. The paper lantern is very fragile and easy to break, perfectly representing her illusions. Another way Blanche attempts to cover up her life is by taking numerous baths. Blanche has lost a husband, a home and has gained a terrible reputation in her old town. She’s constantly depressed from her dead husband and her

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