In Tennesse Williams’ A Street Car Named Desire, Williams sets up the character of Blanche as soon as she is introduced in the play. Her desire, her heartbreak, her downfall, and her extremely complex past are all foreshadowed in Blanch’s first lines of the play, “They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!” (Blanche Du Bois, 6). The street-cars, desire and cemeteries, are symbolic to Blanche’s character, even the town’s name, Elysian Fields, has a symbolic meaning that is essential to the development and foreshadowing of further things to come in the play.
The, “street-car named Desire” (6), symbolises Blanche’s sexual, and emotional desire. Blanche’s desire is apparent right from the point she was first introduced. We see Blanche’s desire to be complimented on her looks in her first conversation with Stella, “You haven’t said a word about my appearance” (14). This suggests that Blanche is a very insecure individual as she frequently needs to be reminded that she looks okay. It seemed that Blanche and Stanley have had a sexual tension between them and even Stanley admits to it in scene 10, “We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!” (162). Blanche also had a desire for a husband, someone to take care of her. She thought that Mitch could be this man, and Mitch thought so too, “You need somebody. And I need somebody too, could it be – me and you Blanche?” (Mitch 116). Blanche’s desire for a husband almost gets her one, ironically it was a different desire in her past that ruined her chances with Mitch.
The street-car “cemeteries” (6), foreshadows the relationship between Blanche and death. Later in the scene, we find out that Blanche had lost hers and Stella’s plantation. There were an abundance of other deaths in the family that Blanche had to deal with and pay for.... [continues]
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