Gender Commentary -- Blanche

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  • EUNICE: "I'm all right. Tell Steve to get him a poor boy's sandwich 'cause nothing's left here" (Williams 14)
  • Introduction to Blanche DuBois
  • COLORED WOMAN: "What was that package he th'ew at 'er?" (Williams 14)
  • Blanche's Drinking (Scene 1)
  • STAGE DIRECTIONS "[...She springs up and crosses to it, and removes a whiskey bottle. She pours a half tumbler of whiskey and tosses it down... ]" (Williams 18).
  • Explaination #1
  • BLANCHE: "No coke, honey, not · with my nerves tonight!" (Williams 19)
  • STELLA: "Blanche, you sit down and let me pour the drinks. I don't know what we've got to mix with. Maybe a coke's in the icebox" (Williams 19).
  • Blanche is an English teacher from Laurel, Mississippi and she is the glorious sister of Stella Kowalski. She is of the age of 30, but she feels as though she is still young, she likes escape the facts of reality. She is a much rather promiscuous woman who enjoys the company of men, but preferably younger men. She loves the finer things that life has to offer.
  • Blanche's Age & Appearance (Scene 5)
  • STELLA: "Why are you sensitive about your age?" (Williams 81)
  • BLANCHE: "Well, now you talk. Open your pretty mouth and talk while I look around for some Iiquor! I know you must have some liquor on the place! Where could it be, I wonder? Oh, I spy, I spy! " (Williams 19)
  • Explaination #2
  • "I understand than men are seen as dominant and powerful beings of this time, but I feel that women have the right and ability to do what men are allowed to do. Men have to understand that women will be recognized and treated fairly one day becuase they are advancing and becoming greater than those surrounding them. I decided to challenge the gender roles set and I was a threat to men and I was abused against my will."
  • Blanche relies on drinking to escape the horrors of her past, to distract her from reality and she hides her drinking habits. Men are seen as dominant beings and it was the social norm for them to drink large sums of liquor. This quote shows that a real woman steps outside of social conformity to live life in the way she sees fit.
  • Synthesis of Key Moments
  • Men have always been looked to as superior and women have always been labeled as weak and submissive. Blanche DuBois was the epitome of mistreatment and an unknown threat to society. She was a threat because she stood up for her beliefs and engaged in manly activities. Blanche stood up for herself and those around her even thought it went unnoticed. Men saw her as a target and threat, so she was taken advantage of because they did not like the idea of her being able to accomplish the same goals as males.
  • BLANCHE: "Because of hard knocks my vanity's been given. What I mean ls-he thinks I'm sort of-prim and proper, you know! [She laughs out sharply] I want to deceive him enough to make him-want me.." (Williams 81)
  • Blanche is not your stereotypical female character, her outlook on life helps to shape her character and plot of the entire play. She wants to be seen as youthful and beautiful, she fears rejection because of her age. Men were looked to as the ones who would outwit women, but in this case Blanche had the same mindset.
  • In Tennessee Williams' playwright, the reader learns that Blanche challenges gender roles because she is not the stereotypical woman of the 1940's. She lived the life she wanted and in both cases, she accomplished being different and challenged men which showed the significant threat she caused. Men did not like women that were independent because they were accustomed to weak and submissive women. This is like life because women are still seen as dependent of men.
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