A Streetcar Named Desire notes for scene 9

A Streetcar Named Desire notes for scene 9

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Scene Nine
This scene marks a decisive stage in Blanche's disintegration. She is drinking heavily and the
past symbolised by the insistent polka music is pressing own upon her
This scene is effective melodrama as Mitch's hostility and Blanche's half hearted
protestations lead up to the ending when he tries to sleep with her
This scene also reveals what was motivating Blanche. Surrounded by the memories of her
dead husband and dying members of her family, she felt so afraid of Death's proximity that
she sought the opposite - DESIRE
To Blanche desire symbolises life, youth and everything that is pleasant
Ironically Blanche dies inside as a result of her moral decay
This scene is also the final confrontation between Blanche and Mitch
Characterisation : Blanche
Blanche's strange behaviour at the beginning (drinking and huddled on a chair) coupled with
the Polka music symbolises the premonition of a disaster which is about to occur
Blanche's incessant chatter at the beginning conveys how nervous she is and is perhaps her
attempt to postpone their inevitable confrontation. She prefers illusion to reality
Blanche's admission that "I don't want realism" conveys that she wants to live in a
make-believe world because it is not so painful. This is why she does not always tell the
truth. She only tells what she thinks ought to be the truth and in her mind this is not really
Blanche's drinking symbolises her inability to cope and her "desire" to blot things out.
Ironically the liquor is called "Southern Comfort". Blanche has arrived in the southern states
looking for comfort but neither the alcohol or her stay with Stanley and Stella are giving her
any. Her journey to New Orleans was her quest for a new life
This scene also offers an insight into Blanche's character. For the first time we are given
insights into her behaviour at Laurel. She admits her lies, but she also tells unequivocally the
truth about herself. When her fantasies meet with incomprehension and brutality, she turns
for good to her world of make-believe as Blanche says, "I don't want realism"
Characterisation: Mitch
Ironically, he could have accepted her lies about her age, but he cannot accept the truth
about her past and the lies she has told to cover this up
Mitch's refusal to marry Blanche show that she is no longer able to escape her past

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Mitch hurrying out of the apartment represents Blanche's last chance for stability in her life
Imagery : The Paper Lantern
The paper lantern represents the dressing up of reality
Blanche's fear of the light that Mitch wants conveys her fear and inability to deal with truth
and brightness. She does not want Mitch to see her in full light.…read more


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