July 19, 2011
In A Streetcar Named Desire, the author Tennessee Williams chooses to depict the downfall of Blanche through her desire to evade loneliness. Throughout the text, Blanche faces loneliness, yet she cannot fill her desire. After the loss of her family estate referred to as, Belle Reve, is officially rendered without family. Having lost her wealth and all her family, she develops the inability to be honest with anyone interested in her. Blanches true desire to evade loneliness causes her downfall.
The story develops when Blanche loses Belle Reve. She had been living there with her young husband, Allan. Her desire to evade loneliness develops when her husband commits suicide. In scene 9 Blanche is talking to Mitch when she suddenly reminisces about the tragic night. She says, “’The ‘’’Varsouviana’”! The polka tune they were playing when Allan—Wait! [A distant revolver shout is heard. Blanche is relieved.] There now the shot! It always tops after that…”’ (Norton 1853). Blanche is obviously still tenderhearted about the loss and the relief that it stopped allows readers to see that she wants Mitch to be her barrier from loneliness. If they were to marry Blanche would not fear being alone. Along with Allan, Blanche suffers the loss of multiple family members. To deal with her losses, as well as, gain company she leaves Belle Reve for New Orleans to stay with her sister, Stella. Blanche’s desire to evade loneliness is clearly shown when she is given directions to her sister’s townhome, “…take a street—car named Desire, and then transfer to one named Cemeteries….” (Norton1805.) Williams offers the reader a chance to foreshadow that her desire will lead to her downfall. Blanche is very quick, when she sees her sister, to ask,” What are you doing in a place like this?” (Norton 1808), with a patronizing tone that does not fit the situation considering she is planning to stay with Stella. Clearly indentifying Blanche’s reasoning behind her visit is for the company of her sister. Furthermore, with the inability to be truthful Blanche rejects any hopes of filling her desire. Clearly stated by Mitch,” Lies, lies, inside and out, all lies.” (Norton 1855), this showing that the man that was on the verge of her rescue was pushed by lies.
Death is the opposite of desire to sum up Blanche DuBois. Downfall is brought upon herself when she losses the family estate and she chooses to lie about herself to others. Tennessee Williams craftily depicts Blanche’s downfall through her desire to evade loneliness.
Williams, Tennessee A Streetcar Named Desire. The Norton Introduction to Literature. ED Booth and Mays 10th edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. Print.