Beautiful Blanche

     Blanche DuBois, a main character in Tennessee Williams' critically acclaimed 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, filmed by Elia Kazan in 1951, tried to live her life as a beautiful, delicate, gentle southern lady. She went to great efforts to try and make herself beautiful. From her furs to her rhinestone tiaras, Blanche (Vivien Leigh on screen) was desperate to be beautifully polished on the outside. I believe she went to such great strains because of all the pain and suffering she was experiencing on the inside. She did not have all the qualities in life in life that a woman, often times, wants to experience. She was estranged from the feelings of real, true love and she tried to compensate for this by whatever means necessary.

     One way she tried to compensate was through her clothes and jewelry. Despite the fact that they were either old or fake, she did not care because it made her feel better. Another way she tried to compensate was by asking for the praise of others. She would often ask Stella (Kim Hunter in the film) how she did look and would fish for compliments.

     Most sadly though, she sought compensation through lust of very willing men. This became Blanche's downfall in life. She was unable to control her desires for men which were primarily an effort to fill a void in her life caused by other circumstances. She let these desires ruin her family heritage, her job as a school teacher, and ultimately her reputation as a lady in the town. From this demise, she suffered continuously in every aspect of her life. Obviously it caused her to be unstable mentally. This topped with the events that took place with Stanley (Marlon Brando) completely did her in.

     Blanche was a woman looking for love in all the wrong places. She was never able to find it in other people because she first, could not find it in herself. Blanche made what she thought was a valiant effort, but people on the outside looking in could see that she was grabbing at anything and everything to save her from herself. Ultimately she was unsuccessful and it is a very sad situation.

Kim Nantz

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