Streetcar named Desire

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  • Omar Noon How does playwright Tennessee Williams use the character’s actions, description, or words to make a strong statement about gender in our society? Blanche is first portrayed to be a proper southern girl, ignorant to the outside world, a “delicate beauty”. However, Blanche is not as pure as she seemed to be and was actually a woman who craved the attention of men to prove her own femininity.
  • “Well, I did. I took the trip as an investment, thinking I'd meet someone with a million dollars.”
  • Blanche shows how she tries to use the fact that she is a woman in order to have a better life. She tries to find someone who is successful in order to leech off of them and pretend as though she earned it herself, relying on her femininity to get her there. Blanche actions imply that in society being a woman means that you can only be successful through the actions of a man instead of your own merits.
  • "Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers. After the death of Allan--intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with.... I think it was panic, just panic, that drove me from one to another, hunting for some protection--here and there, in the most--unlikely places-- even, at last, in a seventeen-year-old boy but--somebody wrote the superintendent about it--"This woman is morally unfit for her position!""
  • Blanche fully broke after Allan’s death, believing all she had was the fact she is a woman. She reveals how she truly was not pure despite the façade she showed and how she craved relationships in order to have the false sense of security it provides, even going as far as to sleep with a student of hers. Blanche view was that she needed protection from the world and needed attention so she used the only way she believed she had, her body. This action of Blanche shows how she believes that women must be protected by men and that they must use any means necessary to get said protection.
  • The actions of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams implies that women must rely on men in order to succeed in life and cannot get anywhere on their own. This raises the innate trait of human nature which is to seek help and protection from others to escape from your circumstances, transferring your problems for another to deal with.
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