A Streetcar Named Desire: Symbolism

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In Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the character of Blanche Dubois is one clear example of the use of symbolism. Blanche views things in an unrealistic way, as though she wants to live a dream. Blanche does not want to live a realistic, normal life. She wants to live a life that pairs with her traditional southern belle personality. She does not want to face her problems; she wants everything to be sugar-coated for her. Blanche hides from reality and lives in her own little world. "I don't want realism. I want magic. I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth." (Blanche)???????? “And turn that over light off, turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciles glare.” (Blanche p. 2340) Light usually symbolizes truth and Blanche does not like to be in a well lit room because she does not like to face reality and let anyone see who she really is. “I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” (Blanche p. 2357 scene 3) This line refers to the colored paper Blanche bought to cover the light bulb with to give the room a mysterious air.

In the play Blanche is constantly taking long baths. This reflects her need to clean herself and rid her body of everyday life dealings and the harsh world around her. She takes so many baths because she feels dirty
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