Was Blanche Right to Stay in Her World?

         A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, was changed into a movie in 1951 by director Elia Kazan. The play and movie are about a female named Blanche DuBois, portrayed by Vivien Leigh, who has fallen on rough times and decides to go to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella, played by Kim Hunter, and her husband[,] Stanley Kowalski, acted by Marlon Brando. When she turns up at the doorstep, the whole family goes through a turmoil that will affect the whole family.

         Blanche is stuck in a life that is no longer there. She would rather live in a fantasy world of her choosing, than face reality. A person can see this because she is always talking about men who just want her company and the fact that she wants Stella to leave Stanley to marry a rich man that can take care of her. Blanche is always calling Stanley a Pollock as a way to put him down because she has seen him as someone common who should not have had the chance to marry Stella.

         Yet, a person has to look at Blanche’s past to see why she lives in this fantasy world. To begin with, her husband had killed himself when Blanche had called him weak and disgusting without thinking about it. The guilt must have driven her inside herself to protect her sanity. Then there is the way she has whored herself by trying to grab the attention of the men around her to make herself feel pretty and wanted. Her whole self-esteem has been around her looks. As she has gotten older, she would never go into the light because she did not want people, especially potential suitors, like Mitch (Karl Malden), to see her real age.

         It is my belief that she did deserve to live in her fantasy world. Her life was filled with horrors, and she just was not ready to accept them. Then on top of it, Stanley rapes her. The way Stella and Stanley handle her is not right. She does need to come back to reality eventually, but she should have been allowed to live in her fantasy world a little longer.

Michelle Maden

Table of Contents