Mitch Who?

     The 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, was all in all an exceptional play. As with most great plays, it was transformed into a screen version in 1951 and directed by Elia Kazan. The film was also exceptional and really helped me to view many of the characters in a different way. However, as with most films, there is, in my opinion one slight downfall. This otherwise overlooked downfall really caught my attention. Now let us think for one minute. Who, during the film was the one true, lowly victim? Sure, Blanche (Vivien Leigh) gets to go to a nut house, but from my seat in the great Faculty Hall 208, it looked as though she really needed to get the hell out of there.

     You guessed it! From the title, one might gather that Mitch (Karl Maden) was the only real victim during the film. Put yourself in his shoes. At Blanche and Mitch's introduction, he is wearing an unbuttoned suit with a loose tie. Even though he appears a bit unpolished, he is polite and respectful to Blanche, a covert whore. It is somewhat obvious the man has not had much contact with women. The poor gentleman is practically tripping over his own feet. Mitch even tries to impress her with a different wardrobe. What I noticed was he wore a bow tie after their introduction. However, once finding out Blanche's true nature, he was back to his original attire. Mitch's situation is like going to a fraternity party and unknowingly falling head over heels for Monica Lewinsky. The point is that everyone else knows she is a whore but you.

     Can it get any worse than this for the Mitch character? Well, he lives with his deathly ill mother.

Erin Eagleson

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