A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche Dubious

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Jake Kahr
Period 3

In Tennessee Williams, “A Street Car Named Desire”, Blanche Dubious is a complex, fascinating character who symbolizes many things throughout the book. Appropriately dressed in white, Blanche is first introduced as a symbol of innocence and chastity. Aristocratic, refined, and sensitive, this delicate beauty has a moth-like appearance. She has come to New Orleans to seek refuge at the home of her sister Stella and her coarse Polish husband, Stanley. With her nervous and refined nature, Blanche is a clear misfit in the Kowalski's apartment. 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 and worshipped a sensitive boy named Allan. 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 makes him 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....
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