‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.’ Blanche’s last words of the play are a direct and most effective appeal for the audience’s sympathy and pity. To what extent do you feel that the character of Blanche DuBois can be viewed as a tragic victim. Word count = 1,500
By Georgia Tucker
Blanche Dubois, The leading role in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire is often viewed as a tragic victim - This is a woman who doesn’t want realism, She wants magic, but even despite the way she lives her life, she will always be at the mercy of a very realistic and brutal world, which could be one of many reasons she can be viewed as a victim. She has endured a life of torment from a young age, beginning first when her ‘young husband’ committed suicide, through the death of her family and the loss of her job due to her promiscuity, the loss of her family home and finally her time spent with her sister and brother-in-law. Her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, is the final piece in the jigsaw showing the picture of her downfall, due to their conflicts during her time in the Kowalski household. Blanche’s downfall began when her young husband Allan committed suicide. Blanche’s character comes across as remorseful over her husband’s death, as she feels she pushed him to his early death. Her dark moods are reflected through her need to be sat in a dimly lit room, whilst at the same time, she wishes to be the centre of attention. This inspires the audience to pity her and feel involved with her struggles, which in turn, fulfils Blanches need for attention. From that moment on, the ‘light’ in her life had been no brighter than a candle light or dim lantern. In my opinion, Williams has created Blanch to be ‘like a moth to a flame’, metaphorically. She is compared to the moth, as the moth is naturally drawn to go towards the light, much like Blanche is now naturally drawn to her metaphorical light of a fantasy world, and to feel wanted. Her...
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