Blanche

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  • Introduction to Blanche
  • First Key
  • Explanation
  • In "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams, gender plays an important role in the play. Blanche is Stella's older sister. She came from a town called Laurel. When Blanche first arrives in Elysian Fields, "Her expression is one of shocked disbelief. Her appearance is incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed." It is as if she is lost, confused, and conflicted.
  • Second Key
  • We see that Blanche challenges the assumed feminine attitude, which is through her education. Early in the play the narrator tells the audience that Blanche was an English teacher by profession.
  • Explanation
  • During the time period of the play, women were not expected to hold jobs or to be self-sufficient, but were instead supposed to live in a state of utter dependence on men. Society has created this gender hierarchy over the years as men must be dominant over his wife and family. Williams is trying to illustrate that it is not true by showing that Blanche has education.
  • TILL Statement
  • Blanche becomes delusional and starts to believe her own lies. “I don’t want realism, I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it!”
  • We distinguish between when she has lost her grip on reality and when she’s simply imagining a better future for herself. Blanche simply just can’t deal with the certain events and circumstances in her life. And, rather than face them, she chooses to retreat into a fantasy world of her own.
  • This is like life because in the society that we used to live in, women have been expected to be submissive to their husbands, however now things have changed and women have equal rights as men which makes women getting an education the norm.
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