Scene 11 What is the reason for the small talk at the beginning of Scene 11?
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The small talk is the awkward prelude to what everybody knows is about to happen to Blanche: it symbolizes a sense of shame and anticipation of Blanche being sent away to the mad house. Blanche's artifice has now been entirely stripped away – she is cut down to nothing. The whole cast has gathered to witness her demise, cruelly, a going-away party to which the guest of honor has not been invited.