the personal fables, Uncategorized

Character Study: Blanche Dubois

From A streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams

Blanche DuBois appears in the first scene dressed in white, the symbol of purity and innocence. She is seen as a moth-like creature. She is delicate, refined, and sensitive. She is cultured and intelligent. She can’t stand a vulgar remark or a vulgar action. She would never willingly hurt someone. She doesn’t want realism; she prefers magic. She doesn’t always tell the truth, but she tells “what ought to be truth.” Yet she has lived a life that would make the most degenerate person seem timid. She is, in general, one of Williams’ characters who do not belong in this world. And her type will always be at the mercy of the brutal, realistic world.

Mitch cannot understand the reasons why Blanche had to give herself to so many people, and, if she did, he thinks that she should have no objections to sleeping with one more man. But Blanche’s intimacies have always been with strangers. She cannot wantonly give herself to someone for whom she has an affection.

Blanche’s last remarks in the play seem to echo pathetically her plight and predicament in life. She goes with the doctor because he seems to be a gentleman and because he is a stranger. As she leaves, she says, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Thus, Blanche’s life ends in the hands of the strange doctor. She was too delicate, too sensitive, too refined, and too beautiful to live in the realistic world.


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