A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche's Truth 11th Grade

Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche is caught between the contradictions of her own character and the society surrounding her. She persistently fights to conceal the truth of her personality and past, failing to comprehend the changing conditions of post-WWII, post-New Deal America. In the midst of this societal conflict, Blanche retreats into her own illusion and self-deceit, and this is reflected physically through her avoidance of light. Her aversion to being seen clearly demonstrates her inability to face the truth of both her character and her lifestyle. The facade she draws around herself reflects the corruption of America’s history, the reality of the ‘epic fornications’ of the elite and the incongruity of this past to the future. Blanche is ultimately conscious of her flaws and actively works to conceal them: her promiscuity, hypocrisy and deteriorating mental state. The way her pretense disintegrates against Stanley’s brutal character is arguably an allegory for the emergence of a new America and the fading significance of the old.

Blanche is driven by a compulsion to disguise her declining beauty. She plays the part of the southern belle; a fading stereotype that adds to the tragic and pitiable aspects of her...

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