Blanche Earns Our Sympathy

        The 1951 movie A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, had many interesting characters. The most emotional and annoying for me was Blanche DuBois, played by Vivien Leigh. She was very perky and seemed to be into herself more than anyone else was. She was very proud of her image; at least that is what she portrayed to everyone else. She eventually experienced a mental breakdown towards the end of the movie.

        At the beginning of the movie, I did not like Blanche. I thought she was very manipulative and deceitful. It seemed to me that she did not care about anybody but herself. She was hitting on Stanley (Marlon Brando), the husband of her sister, Stella Kowalski (Kim Hunter). I thought this was very wrong of Blanche. However, towards the end of the movie, I began to feel sorry for her. She always wanted to lead a lavish life and could not. Her promiscuous past was very sad and unfortunately for all concerned, was revealed by Stanley. He did not like the fact that Blanche had stayed there for five month, disrupting his home life, with no intention of leaving.

        At the end of the movie, after Stanley raped Blanche, I felt deeply for her. I really resented the fact that her own sister had her committed for something that Stanley helped cause. He deserved to be in an insane asylum more than Blanche did. However, I think that Blanche needed to get away from that house and get some treatment so that she can recover from all the abuse she had experienced from Stanley and move on.

        In conclusion, Blanche had experienced a hard life and suffered throughout the movie because of it. The movie was more entertaining with Blanche in it. She thought that the world revolved around her and no one else. She had a personality that I hope to never encounter because she could be annoying at times. Through her mental breakdown I and other viewers begin to understand all that Blanche had gone through and what she would continue to go through.

Maria Ratliff

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