A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
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  • Blanche, in her entrance scene, is described as being "incongruous" with the setting. She is dressed "daintily" and wears all white acutely reminiscent of a "moth." A fading Southern Belle who clings to coquettish trappings.
  • While the men are vigorously (violently) playing poker, Blanche is noted to be "look[ing] after [Mitch] with a certain interest." Blanche observes that Mitch "seems-superior to the others" and has "a sort of sensitive look." Blanche views Mitch as a refuge and a way to rejuvenate her shattered life. (Mitch, top left)
  • The gender commentary in this scene is more nuanced than the fact that the women are not allowed to play poker. Williams plays into classic tropes of femininity and promiscuity wherein Blanche is almost exploiting Mitch's "vulnerability." Here, Blanche is represented as wanton and deceptive using her paper lantern to prey.
  • Scene 10 concludes with a heated exchange between Blanche and Stanley. Stanley yells, "Oh! So you want some rough-house! All right, let's have some rough-house!" We are to infer that Stanley rapes Blanche.
  • Williams' illustrations of Blanche in the scene to follow are markedly dissimilar from the whole of the book. While she has always been described as fallen and deceptive, Blanche's characterization in Scene 11 more closely aligns with perceptions of neurotypic women during this time period. She is frantic and hysterical and frail and needs to be put away.
  • Tennesse Williams' A Street Car Named Desire offers a rather striking insight onto the complexity of power relations between men and women. The play, in its precise detail, gleans an idiosyncratic illustration of the American South in the Post War Era. Women are subservient and fungible while men are angry and discontented.
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