1) Blanche seeks to deny it, although we learn later in the play that desire is one of her driving motivations; her desires have caused her to be driven out of town. Blanche says “Tarantula was the name of it. I stayed at a hotel called the Tarantula Arms”. Mitch says “Tarantula Arms?” Blanche reply “Yes, a big spider. That's where I brought my victims. Yes, I've had many meetings with strangers”.
2) Physical desire, and not intellectual or spiritual intimacy, is the heart of Stella's and Stanley's relationship, but Williams makes it clear that this does not make their bond any weaker.
3) Desire is also Blanche's undoing, because she cannot find a healthy way of dealing with her natural urges - she is always either trying to suppress them or pursuing them with abandon.
*Violence and Cruelty
1)Stanley final assault against Blanche is a merciless attack against an already-beaten foe. * Stanley’s says: “Tiger—tiger! Drop the bottle top! Drop it! We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!” [She moans. The bottle top falls. She sinks to her knees. He picks up her inert figure and carries her to the bed. The hot trumpet and drums from the Four Deuces sound loudly] . 2) Blanche's cruelty is unintentional. She lies in a vain or misguided effort to please.
The connection in Blanche’s past between violence and desire in some way contributes to the events within the time scale of the play. This is not to excuse Stanley’s later act of violence or to suggest that Blanche brings it on herself — rather, Williams is demonstrating how a cycle of violence, combined with passion and desire, is hard to break.
1) The theme of madness running through Streetcar in the form of Blanche’s neurosis and self-delusion may reveal some of the playwright’s fears about the instability of his own mental life.
2) William Tennessee’s lingering regrets and guilt about Rose’s treatment may also be seen in Stella’s anguished cry as Blanche is taken away: “What have I done to my sister? Oh, God, what have I done to my sister?”
*Fight For Control
1) Stanley and Blanche both fight to control Stella.
2) As her husband, Stanley believes that he should take care of all of Stella's property and concerns.
3) Blanche believes that her position as Stella's sister gives her the right to make decisions for Stella, such as trying to force Stella to leave Stanley. Blanche said “ He acts like an animal, has an
animal’s habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There’s even something—subHuman ـــsomething not quite to the stage of humanity yet!”
4) Stanley also seeks to control Blanche. The more they fight over control of Stella, the more Stanley wants to control Blanche as well. His first step is to tell Mitch, Blanche's only companion in New Orleans, the truth about her troubled past.
The companion theme to desire is loneliness, and between these two extremes, Blanche is lost. She desperately seeks companionship and protection in the arms of strangers. And she has never recovered from her tragic and consuming love for her first husband.
Blanche is in need of a defender. But in New Orleans, she will find instead the predatory and merciless Stanley.
Blanche said “I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can't be alone! “
* Illusion and Reality
1) Blanche is a quixotic figure, seeing the world not as it is but as it ought to be. Illusion or fantasy has a liberating magic that protects her from the tragedies she has had to endure. Blanche says: “I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try
to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth”. 2) Blanche's dependence on illusion is contrasted with Stanley's
steadfast realism, and in the end it is Stanley and his worldview that win.
3) Stella must also resort to a kind of illusion, forcing herself to believe that Blanche's accusations against Stanley are false so that she can continue living with her husband.
*Dependence on Men
Williams uses Blanche’s and Stella’s dependence on men to expose the
treatment of women during the transition from the old to the new South. 1) Blanche and Stella see male companions as their only means to achieve happiness, and they depend on men for both their sustenance and their self-image.
*Light and Darkness
Blanche avoids appearing in direct, bright light, especially in front of her suitor, Mitch. When she greets Stella at the first time in the apartment, she says, "And turn that over-light off! Turn that off! I won't be looked at in this merciless glare!"
Blanche says : “I can't stand in a naked light bulb, any more than I can
a rude remark or a vulgar action”.
When Mitch knows about her past, he says , “ What it means is I’ve
never had a real good look at you, Blanche. Let’s turn on the light.”
Blanche fearfully responds, “Light? Which light? What for?”
Mitch replies, “ This one with the paper thing on it. He tears the paper lantern off the light bulb. She utters a frightened gasp.] (s.9, 144).
Blanche’s pre-occupation with washing herself is an attempt to cleanse
herself of her past sins.
The bath is never a quick and simple matter for Blanche. She spends
hours, cleansing herself thoroughly, as if to make a fresh start in life, hopefully with Mitch.
1) Stanley and Blanche drink excessively at various points during the play. * Stanley’s drinking is social while Blanche’s drinking is anti-social .
2) For Stanley and Blanche, drinking leads to destructive behavior:
• Stanley commits domestic violence.
Blanche deludes herself.
Streetcar named Desire is Blanche's desire. Although Blanche arrives in
New Orleans as a somewhat broken woman, she keeps alive her desire to be with a man and to lead a life as an elegant, respectable woman.
Blanche means white in French, and–in keeping with her name–she wears a white dress and gloves in the opening scene of the play to hide her real self in the purity that white suggests. Blanche DuBois itself means ‘white woods’ as she tells Mitch - which implies something virginal and unsullied - both of which she is not.
Stanley is an Old English name meaning stone field. Thus, it is possible
he represents a cemetery for Blanche. Stanislaus is the name of a king of Poland. Clearly, Stanley is the king of his household.
Belle Reve is the name of Blanche's family home in Mississippi. It
means the "beautiful dream" (the meaning of Belle Rêve in French) that Blanche seeks but never experiences. It is a symbol of the past that has gone forever, and Blanche’s inability
to rouse herself from her dream world of illusions and magic.
The old Mexican woman is a symbol for death, a problem for Blanche. The old Mexican woman is a symbol of all deaths at Belle Reve, and the
appearance of the Mexican woman in scene nine reminds Blanche of those deaths.
The polka and the moment it evokes represent Blanche’s loss of
innocence. The suicide of the young husband Blanche loved dearly was the event that triggered her mental decline. The polka music plays at various points:
1) In Scene One, when Stanley meets Blanche and asks her about her husband. 2) When Blanche tells Mitch the story of Allen Grey. From this point on, the polka plays increasingly often, and it always drives Blanche to distraction.
Sahar Talal Subghah Dalia Ebrahim Al-amoudi Sawsan Faleh lA- shumrani Zaina Yaseen Maqadi
Ro’a Abdul Al –rahman Halawani