Blanche’s Death Speech
Blanche’s death speech plays a vital role in the development of the play “A Streetcar named Desire”. In the monologue the tension between Blanche and Stella comes to a zenith as Blanch explodes with rage as she expresses her jealousy-driven feelings to Stella. In doing so Blanche reveals much more, including her unstable mental state, her emotional reaction to the lost of Belle Reve, and most importantly her preoccupation with the theme of death.
One of the roles of this excerpt is to provide the background towards understanding Blanche, and the justifications for her mental state and actions. It is evident that in the past she belonged to a higher class where extravagance was common. But when her family in Belle Reve gradually died off, not only did she have to experience the pain of losing her loved ones, but she was also left with no money or financial aid to keep the estate and ultimately was forced to let it go. Blanche defends herself by figuratively saying that the grim reaper put up his tent right on her doorstep and that is how “it slipped through my (Blanche’s) fingers”. She even goes on to accuse Stella of dealing with the crisis by “ignoring” it and moving on, hence leaving Blanche to deal with an unbearable burden. This is most obvious when she rhetorically asks Stella, “I let the place go?” This quote aids in leading the audience to perceive that it was Stella that let the estate go by not trying to help the situation. To accentuate her point Blanche brings up the irony of her being “at the bed when they (her family) cried out hold me” while condemning Stella for being “In bed with your (Stella) - Polak.”
During the speech there are numerous indications that prove Blanche was deeply hurt by her experience at Belle Reve. Firstly, the seemingly unnecessary long explanation in itself demonstrates the importance of Belle Reve to Blanche. Secondly, the frustration and anger she expresses with Stella highlights the...
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