Blanche Dubois - Quote Analysis

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  • Blanche Quotes
    • Scene One - "Where were you? In bed with your polak!"
      • Here, Blanche is criticising Stella for moving away from their childhood home, Belle Reve; she feels isolated due to the death of the Dubois family members.
        • It could be argued that Blanche is jealous of Stella, wishing it was her who got to move away and live life with her husband. However, it didn't work out like that, Blanche blames herself for her husband's death ("I know...you disgust me!").
        • Alternatively, Blanche could be envious of Stanley; she may feel that he has stolen Stella away from her, leaving her alone in the world. Therefore, she wants Stella all to herself as she is the last physical thing connecting Blanche to reality.
    • Scene Two - "I was fishing for compliments, Stanley."
      • This is the first time we, the audience, see Blanche's promiscuous and flirtatious side. Although slightly immoral that she is flirting with Stella's husband, her want for affection and/or reassurance highlights Blanche's insecurities. It's worth mentioning this is a mistake made by Blanche as she is showing Stanley, the man who leads to her downfall, is now wise to her weaknesses.
    • Scene Three - "Sick people have such deep, sincere attachments."
      • Blanche and Mitch bond over their dead loved ones. This is ironic as later on in the play, when Blanche descends into insanity and is therefore sick, Mitch rejects her and labels her as "dirty". Here, Williams may be using Mitch as a metaphor for society's double standards for women, as well as the stigma around mental health.
        • "Attachments" is an interesting noun to use. It seems as if Blanche is the only one to attaches to others, simply dragging them into her orbit. Others do not attach to Blanche. This may be her only way to keep a grip on reality.
    • Scene Four - "Pull yourself together and face the facts."
      • This quote is quite ironic seeing as Blanche so fiercely denies reality, refusing to "face the facts". However, it would be unfair to sate that Blanche doesn't "pull [her]self together" as she did while she was living at Belle Reve, in Laurel. It was the others around Blanche who pulled her back down to a state of depression. Rather than surviving, Blanche was simply coping.
    • Scene Five - "Men don't - don't admit your existence unless they're making love to you."
      • Williams presents more of Blanche's insecurities. This scene is made much more melancholic due to Stella's poor response to Blanche's clear hurt. She describes her sister as being "morbid", failing to see that she is simply a fragmented shell of a woman.
    • Scene Six - "Goes out of his way to offend me."
      • This is one of the seldom times the audience see Blanche as more of a malicious and especially deceptive character. She purposefully highlights all of Stanley's wrong-doings, but not her own. From a psychological point of view, Blanche may be doing this to evoke sympathy from Mitch, highlighting the darkness within Stanley (who Williams uses as an extended metaphor for the 'New America').
    • Scene Seven - "Why don't you bathe, too, soon as I get out?"
      • Bathing is a primary motif within 'A Streetcar Named Desire', it's Blanche's own personal form of escapism from the cut-throat society she's struggling to survive in. By trying to convince Stella to bathe, Blanche may be trying to entice Stella into escapism too, as it's fair to say her marriage is far from perfect. If Stella joins Blanche in her escapism, she will no longer be alone, also meaning she wouldn't have to attach to reality any longer, therefore she doesn't have to prolong her emotional trauma.
    • Scene Eight - "Is it because I've been stood up by my new beau?"
      • Here, Blanche is trying to use comedy to cover up her disappoint-ment of Mitch not showing up to her birthday party. It could be argued that although Blanche does depend upon men (which is her hamartia), they always end up failing her in someway. The only man who has shown complete remorse was Allan; he loved Blanche, but not the way she wanted him to. Men are both explicitly and implicity the downfall of Blanche Dubois.
    • Scene Nine - "Don't turn the light on!"
      • This sentence is quite heartbreaking for at least a modern audience as you see the unfiltered, raw fear Blanche has towards the world and reality. Specifically, her reality. The "light" represents all the truths of Blanche Dubois; she has worked hard to not let those filter through into reality, but unfortunately they have due to people like Stanley and , arguably, Stella. There ignorance ironically shed light on all aspects of Blanche's life
    • Scene Ten - "Yes, swine! Swine! And I'm thinking not only of you, but of your friend, Mr Mitchell."
      • Blanche has been deeply hurt, so she has resulted to lashing out on Stanley in order to convey her emotions. As an audience, we feel uncomfortable watching Blanche seal her fate with Stanley. Although the things she states are valid, it is still an awful thing to watch happen to Blanche. By referring to Mitch as a "swine", she is labelling him a pig. This juxtaposes her previous question to Stella in Scene Three: "Is he a wolf?". Rather than being a wolf, Blanche labels him a pig; symbolising his weakness to Stanley (the alpha wolf?) and, possibly, his inferiority to Blanche, who is a wolf in her own right.
    • Scene Eleven - "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
      • This may evoke sympathy from the audience; Blanche is openly stating that she relies on strangers for comfort and affection, she does not feel supported by Stella, who is her only family left. Although Stella does feel remorse at the end of the final scene, it is too late; Blanche drowned in her escapism while additionally being suffocated by Stanley's cut-throat society. It's a sad notion to think about, having to rely on stranger for some form of kindness. Blanche Dubois was not built for the world she was born into, and it was only her who paid the price.

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