Gender Commentary- Blanche

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  • Hi, my name's Blanche. I took a streetcar named Desire to get here and I must say, I am not impressed by this place.
  • She is portrayed as very insecure, and is afraid to hear the rejection that males or anyone might give to her. She likes to portray herself as well put together, young, and beautiful and gets upset when people think otherwise.
  • Quote: (Williams 48)
  • Could I join the game?
  • No, you can not.
  • Men acted as if women were below them, just an object that was supposed to cook, and clean. They knew that they could treat them poorly and get away with it because they knew that the women would not go anywhere. Stanley's actions towards Blanche in this scene showed us that.
  • Blanche is one of the main characters in the book she is described as having an appearance that is "Incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. She is about five years older than Stella. Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light. There is something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes. that suggests a moth. (Williams 15)
  • I can't. You don't understand.
  • You have got to leave him.
  • Key Moment: "STANLEY: Where you been? STELLA: Blanche and I took in a show. Blanche, this is Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Hubbell. BLANCHE: Please don't. get up. STANLEY: Nobody's going to get up, so don't be worried. BLANCHE: Poker is so fascinating. Could I kibitz? STANLEY: You could not. Why don't you women go up and sit with Eunice?"
  • From this scene we can see that Stanley has no respect for Blanche or even his own wife, Stella. When Blanche comes home with Stella while the boys are playing poker, he gives her the cold shoulder and does not even bother introducing her and ends up not allowing her to play in the poker game with them. This shows that men in society during this time did not have much respect for women and they did not treat them with the respect that they deserved.
  • This is like life in that men, even now feel that they are superior to women and believe that they are more capable and apt to work, and be the head of the household. Some women are still treated poorly because men feel that they have the right and ability to treat women this way, when it is very wrong. Women start to feel insecure, and begin to believe that they need a man to have a successful life when in reality they really don't and Blanche figures this out towards the end of the book.
  • Key Moment: "BLANCHE: Pull yourself together and face the facts. STELLA: What are they, in your opinion? BLANCHE: In my opinion? You're married to a madman! STELLA: No! BLANCHE:Yes, you are, your fix is worse than mine is! Only you're not being sensible about it. rm going to do something. Get hold of myself and make myself a new life!"
  • Quote: (Williams 64)
  • In this scene we see Blanche and Stella having a discussion. The night before Stanley had gotten too drunk and hit Stella. Naturally, Blanche was very scared for her sister and she wanted her to leave him. However, Stella did not want to, she was still in love with him despite what he had done to her. In this moment Blanche realized that women have the ability to make decisions for themselves. They didn't need a man to justify their actions. She was in a way giving herself advice while lecturing Stella to leave Stanley.
  • Furthermore, this shows us that in society at this time females felt like they had no voice or decision about their futures. They felt that since the males were the head of the household they needed his blessing or approval to do the things that they wanted to do.
  • In both these key moments we can see how the divide between men and women can effect daily life. Men at this time feel that they are superior to women and that they are the head of the household so they can act however they want. They treat women as objects with no respect to their feelings or what they want. This makes women feel that they need a man in order to live a good life, however women can do whatever they want they just don't know it yet until they gain more rights and freedoms they lacked during this time.
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