A Streetcar Named Desire
By sramos112, Updated
How does playwright Tennessee Williams use the character’s actions, description, or words to make a strong statement about gender in our society? Eunice, Stella and Stanley are outside talking when Blanche arrives. Her expression is one of shocked disbelief.
STELLA: Blanche, do you want him? BLANCHE: I want to rest! I want to breathe quietly again! Yes--I want Mitch... very badly! Just think! If it happens, I can leave here and not be anyone's problem....
Blanche represents the kind of woman that needs a man in her life to survive. She is so caught up with looking young and beautiful to get the attention of a man. The fact that she needs a man to escape an environment where she feels she is not wanted, represents that Blanche is not a strong and independent woman who can stand up for herself. Women need to be at their strongest, especially when they are in a world that is so strongly dominated by man, to overcome inequality and prove that a woman can be successful without a man.
BLANCHE: Mitch!--just a minute. [She rushes about frantically, hiding the bottle in a closet, crouching at the mirror and dabbing her face with cologne and powder. She is so excited her breath is audible as she dashes about. At last she rushes to the door in the kitchen and lets him in.]
Blanche tries so much to impress a man. As soon as Mitch arrives, she rushes to change her look and personality. Blanche loves to drink to hide her worries, but refuses to show the real her to Mitch. She does that to preserve her southern belle persona. This demonstrates that women are extremely vulnerable when it comes to a man's affection. The need for such affection, makes a woman lie and hide who she really is. Blanche acts that way because she is afraid that Mitch will reject her.
Tennessee Williams depicts the 1940's as an age, where women had to be dependable on men. Blanche only confirms that assertion by her actions towards Mitch. Blanche needs Mitch to feel loved and protected, without a man by her side Blanche is a weak woman who cannot stand up for herself.
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