A Streetcar Named Desire

The Relationship of Blanche and Stella To the Dramatic Effect of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' 12th Grade

Since the focal theme of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is that of integration and adaptation, the relationship between Blanche and Stella is important and its function evident: Williams establishes a contrast between them. For example, when Stella says, in Scene One, that ‘the best I could do was make my own living, Blanche’, Williams invites his audience to interpret the social transformation which Stella has undergone. This very base image of having to earn a living contrasts significantly with the image of ‘columns’, which Stanley introduces in Scene Eight. Stella has been forced to adapt her lifestyle in order to integrate in this modern, male-dominated society. Blanche, on the other hand, is self-immersed in a world of fantasy – or ‘make-believe’ as she suggests herself in Scene Seven – where she clings on to her past of wealth and comfort. Consequently, Blanche cannot integrate: she does not understand this society, in which she cannot fit, for she is ‘incongruous’, an adjectival choice by Williams which enhances this sense of disconnection from the brutal real world. Slight tension is visible in the relationship because of this contrast, for example in Scene Four, where Blanche appeals to her sister that she must have ‘...

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