Blanche represents a deep-seated attachment to the past. She has lived her whole life in Laurel, a small southern town; her family had aristocratic roots and taught Blanche about some of the finer things in life. Unfortunately, she cannot cope with life outside Laurel. Her life is a lesson in how a single tragic event can ruin the future; her refusal to come out of the time warp and cope with the real world, makes her unrealistic and flighty. At the age of sixteen, she fell in love with, worshipped, and eloped with a sensitive boy. She believed that life with Allan was sheer bliss. Her faith is shattered when she discovers he is a bi-sexual degenerate. She is disgusted and expresses her disappointment in him. This prompts him to commit suicide. Blanche cannot get over this. She holds herself responsible for his untimely death. His death is soon followed by long vigils at the bedside of her dying relatives. She is forced to sell
Belle Reve, the family mansion, to pay for the many funeral expenses. She finds herself living at the second-rate Flamingo Hotel.
In an effort to escape the misery of her life in Laurel, Blanche drinks heavily and has meaningless affairs. She needs alcohol to stop the polka music, symbolic of Allan's death, from running on in her head and to avoid the truth of her life. She surrenders her body to various strangers in an attempt to lose herself. She seduces young boys in memory of Allan. But her empty heart finds no peace, and her bad reputation ends her teaching career.
Blanche is an escapist who...