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"Because of hard knocks my vanity's been given... I want to deceive him enough to make him want me." (Williams, 81)
Blanche DuBois enters her sister's shabby home dressed as though "she were arriving at a summer cocktail party in the garden district." (Williams, 5) The contrast between her apparel and the environment represent her character and contrast to her new environment perfectly. She is scatterbrained, but insistent upon maintaining an outward appearance of togetherness, superiority, and femininity.
"I’m not accustomed to having more than one drink. Two is the limit – and three! [She laughs] Tonight I had three." (Williams, 54)
Blanche is preparing for Mitch's arrival and begins expressing insecurity towards her age because "men lose interest quickly. Especially when the girl is over-thirty" (Williams, 81) Her expression is a clear representation of commentary on the gender ideal of the time of the novel that women receive worth based upon their outward appearance. Once their vanity fades, they are conditioned to feel worthless and must compensate through artificially preserving their youth through makeup, surgery, etc.
Blanche feels a continuous and expressed insecurity about drinking- most likely due to the fact that she is aware that it is not necessarily a feminine quality to have. She constantly reminds people that she "hasn’t turned into a drunkard" (Williams, 19) as to maintain her facade of a prim and proper Southern Belle so as not to be seen as unattractive. This is another instance of Blanche's conformity to impress a male, furthering the commentary of women living to please men during this time period.
Through the scenarios of Blanche fearing her age and hiding the fact that she drinks, it is clear that she lives a life based upon impressing men. This is representative of the society in which women achieved power through being attractive and desired by men rather than skills such as intelligence or achievement. In life, women must work harder than men to have power due to the perspective that many hold that women can only achieve by pleasing men.
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