To what extent can Blanche Dubois be seen as a victim in a streetcar named desire?

600 Words3 Pages
Although it is possible for one to see the character of Blanche as a manipulating and vindictive individual, who has no sense of compassion or consideration for others, she is also written as an emotionally unstable woman who had suffered a tragedy in her early life, therefore be a victim It is possible that Williams based this character on his sister as she suffered from mental illness and emotional instability, therefore innately, and sympathetically portraying her as victim. There are suggestions throughout the play that Blanches’ malice is unintended, and that she truly believes ‘ deliberate cruelty is unforgivable’. For example, in scene 3, Stanley lashes out violently at Stella after heavily drinking, and it is Blanche that takes her away from him and the danger he poses, illustrating her inner compassion. The constant heavy drinking included in the play is also suggestive of blanches state as a victim. Williams included her alcoholism to create the awareness of blanches need to escape the harsh reality of life and how out of control she is. This is also shown in scene III where she ‘cannot stand a naked light bulb’, and insists on covering it with a ‘paper lantern’, reflecting her need to hide from reality of her past. Additionally the burning need for sexual desire in the character of Blanche can very easily be interpreted as immoral lust, however, I feel that Williams has included her relentless sleeping with men as a reflection of her loneliness and insecurity. The story of her ‘degenerate’ husbands suicide is clearly the root of her problems, as ‘she didn’t just love him but worshipped the ground he walked on’. She cannot face up to reality and deal with her emotional problems in a ‘normal’ way, thus creating a sordid reputation for herself. In this way I feel she is a victim as she is unaware of her actions. Blanches physical appearance also
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