Blanche has both many strengths and weaknesses. She is constantly imagining a better life for herself. She refuses to accept the bad cards she has been dealt in the past. However, he lying gets out of hand as it starts to destroy the relationships around her. She loses her grip with reality as she lives in her fantasies and deceives people. In the beginning when Blanche is first introduced, she is wearing all white. It says, “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.”(1.3). The color white creates a sense of innocence and purity surrounding Blanche. It becomes ironic since her troublesome past and lies get exposed later in the play. Her appearance is also describes as, “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.”(1.3). Williams includes these descriptions in order to first portray Blanche as a delicate woman. During this time period, men were still seen as the superior figures. As the play goes on, we start to see Blanch embrace her feminine side and lady-like actions, while also doing things out of the ordinary such as drinking and lying.
This quote shows how playwright Tennessee Williams clearly comments on the gender inequality that the women had to endure. He used Blanche’s actions to state that during the time period women were less than men. Society had this conviction that women only had few roles which included becoming a wife and a mother and mostly satisfy a man's needs. Blanche, like many women decide to use their sex appeal to gain influence over men. This was Blanche’s best attribute, it helped her get whatever she wanted since it was nearly impossible to enjoy her rights without having to force the situation.
“Now don't get worried, your sister hasn't turned into a drunkard, she's just all shaken up and hot and tired and dirty!” (1.9)
In this moment, Stella was going to get Blanche soda to mix with the alcohol, but Blanche insisted she didn’t need it. Blanche has gone through many troubling times in her life, so she turned to alcohol to help her feel better. This reveals gender commentary because during this time period, it was normal for men to get drunk. However, it was strange and sometimes even frowned-upon for a woman to be drunk. This connects to the prompt because Tennessee Williams includes Blanche’s drinking continuously throughout the play to illustrate how fragile Blanche was. She was constantly obsessed with her illusions and fantasies, so the alcohol was able to add to it. Blanche’s drinking is an important action that Williams includes throughout the play because it adds to her character and personality. In a time where woman had limits in society, Blanche showed how the restrictions were ignored.
“Blanche moves back into the streak of light. She raises her arms and stretches, as she moves indolently back to the chair.” (3.49)
Throughout the play, Williams highlights the stereotypical gender role that women had to follow in a society dominated by men. Women had to find different ways to get by and feel as if they had a purpose. Blanche’s background lead her to turn to more unhealthy ways to cope with her struggles. Her methods are frowned upon as women are not supposed to drink or behave like men. They must act accordingly and convey a delicate appearance.However, even by drinking and behaving like men, women like blanche can't find the satisfaction of feeling equal to men; they are shamed for their actions. This then leads to them using their sexuality to get by.Thus, their actions are the way they feel as if they were equal to men.