1.1 Represents the declining upper class and the rise of the
Bourgeois middle class in the America of Williams’ time.
1.2 As a character she is used to contrast directly with Stanley as her
sophisticated, cultured and refined background is directly at odds
with Stanley’s vibrant, lively and raw working class background.
2.1.1 "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"
184.108.40.206 White- innocent, pure, wealth
220.127.116.11.1 Facade- how she wants to appear
2.1.2 "Red satin robe"
18.104.22.168 Desire, passion, love
22.214.171.124 Warning, danger,
2.1.3 Over-dresses to compensate
for her poverty and shame
2.2 "Incongruous to the setting"
2.2.1 Belongs in Old South,
not New South
126.96.36.199 Old fashioned ideals, puts
emphasis on social etiquette
2.3 "Something about her (...) that represents a moth"
3.1 Blanche and Stella
3.1.1 Stella and Blanche are sisters and seem to have a very close relationship. Blanche tends to talk for
Stella whenever she gets the chance to. Stella never really gets a chance to say much to Blanche
3.1.2 Blanche is raped by Stanley and told Stella, but Stella couldn't believe her because of the lies that she made
up in the past. Stella trusts her husband over her own sister and sends Blanche to a Mental Hospital
3.2 Blanche and
3.2.1 The presentation of conflict between Blanche and Stanley is one of a weak,
fading, and delicate person against a powerful, vibrant and brash one.
3.2.2 Constrast in:
3.2.3 Blanche tries to keep up a facade, live in a fantasy
world. Stanley is straightforward and blunt.
3.3 Blanche and Mitch
3.3.1 The relationship is very flirtatious at the
beginning, but develops to something deeper.
They both depend on each other for support,
even though they are not really compatible.
Blanche looks to Mitch as possible future
4.1 Fantasy vs Reality
4.2 Desire and Death
4.3 Dependence on men
4.5 Society and class
5.1 Southern Belle
5.1.1 William's mother was a spoilt, impractical Southern belle who enjoyed the
privileges of having highly-respected parents in Mississippi (similar to Blanche
whose family once owned the wealthy southern mansion, 'Belle Reve' ).
5.1.2 Although she is an educated woman who has worked as a teacher,
Blanche is nonetheless constrained by the expectations of Southern
society. She knows that she needs men to lean on and to protect her.
188.8.131.52 She has clearly known sexual freedom in the past, but understands that sexual freedom does not fit
the pattern of chaste behavior to which a Southern woman would be expected to conform
5.2 The urge to seek pleasure through alcohol in Williams'
later life is to be found in Blanche's tragic character.
6.1 Having suffered the loss of her young homosexual husband to suicide and the loss of the final generation of the
DuBois family and their estate ‘Belle Reve’, Blanche is affected by these tragic events. She has tried to avoid the
guilt she feels for her husband’s death by having ‘intimacies with strangers’ to ‘fill her empty heart’ and
attempts to avoid realism and prefers ‘magic’ by telling ‘what ought to be the truth’ rather then the truth itself.
6.2 Blanche has come to New Orleans to find refuge with her sister Stella as she is her only living relation left.