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  • Introduction
  • Blanche sits in a chair very stiffly with her shoulders slightly hunched' and her legs pressed close together and her hands tightly clutching her purse as if she were quite cold. After a while the blind look goes out of her eyes and she begins to look slowly around. (Scene 1)
  • Key Moment #1
  • BLANCHE: Poker is so fascinating. Could I kibitz? STANLEY: You could not. Why don't you women go up and sit with Eunice? (Scene 3)
  • Explanation
  • I hate when he does that. (Scene 3)
  • When Blanche arrives at the Kowalski's household. She is portrayed as a woman who is upper class and condescending towards people of lower classes. She initially doesn't like the environment she is in and has significantly different views than others in the household. The author was clearly trying to portray her as an elegant and very feminine woman.
  • Key Moment #2
  • In this scene, Blanche asks to play poker with the men but she is told no by Stanley and he tells her to go with the other women. This shows the gender roles that are perpetuated in this time period about male-female interactions.
  • Explanation
  • Stella was assaulted by Stanley and although she mentions how she hates when Stanley does this, Blanche does not take any action nor make any comment. This shows the gender roles present in this play because women are treated poorly and cannot respond to their male counterparts.
  • Synthesis
  • Blanche throughout the novel attempts to show elegance and purity, there is a constant battle between her and Stanley in which she seems to combat gender roles but she is trapped and constricted by these gender roles
  • When Blanche first arrives at the household she takes a shot of whiskey and says she loves it, showing her love for alcohol. She tries to hide her love for alcohol, however, by rejecting Stella's offer of another shot.
  • [She drinks quickly] Oh, this buzzes right through me and feels so good!
  • It seems that in this society, the consumption of alcohol is a very masculine action that most women do not partake in, and furthermore, women who drink are viewed quite negatively. This shows that societal gender roles restrict certain actions that men do for women. This is why Blanche is forced to hide her drinking habits because if people found out, it would wreck her reputation because of societal gender constructs.
  • Tennessee Williams portrays gender roles through Blanche by showing the societal constrictions that women face. Williams also ties themes along in these scenes such as alcoholism as it relates to women and sexual tensions that Blanche seems to always have. The gender roles set restrictions on individuals with gives them limits to what they are able to do and stops them from exercising true freedom of expression at certain points in the play
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