A Streetcar Named Desire: the Desire to Justify Cruelty

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 120
  • Published : December 16, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
The Desire to Justify Cruelty
When do we overlook malicious behavior? Is our emotional appeal to like a person enough for us to look past deliberate cruelty? Bound up in the play A Streetcar Named Desire is the fundamental question of how the characters are dialectically cruel and the ways they justify their desires. By means of a theme of cruelty when whiteness is evoked, author Tennessee Williams displays when we justify the actions of others to reinforce gender identities, and the emotions which act as a vehicle for judgments. Blanche lives in a fantasy world where truth and logic are replaced by a fake humanity. At one point she says, I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it! –Don't turn the light on! (117) Fantasy is her primary means of self-defense. She is not deceitful out of malice. They are created out of an incapacity to see the truth. Just as Blanche is portrayed in the beginning of the movie coming out of clouds of smoke, she presents things not as they are, but as they ought to be. Why does Blanche choose fantasy over reality? She creates this fantasy world to hide the hurts from her youth. She claims innocence when confronted by Mitch in scene nine,

Mitch: You lied to me, Blanche.
Blanche: Don't say I lied to you.
Mitch: Lies, lies, inside and out, all lies.
Blanche: Never inside, I didn't lie in my heart…. (119)
At this point male logic says that she is un-truthful, and therefore a liar who will be judged by that. A classification system is formed where on one end a person has a perfect trust and is not questioned because truth is tested and accepted. Yet on the other end of the spectrum falls Blanche Du Bois. She is treated with little respect. Ultimately as a person who can be raped. Was this a persona that she created or was this card dealt to her?...
tracking img