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A Streetcar Named Desire



Analyse the relationship between Blanche and Stella, discussing and

analyzing their differences. Who do you think is most suited to the
modern world and why?
In your response you can refer to:
Stage directions
Stella and Blanches appearances (or comments about)
Attitude to Belle Reave and their current setting
Stella and Blanche have a very conflicting and fickle relationship.
This contradiction is usually fueled by Blanche and her fluctuating and
opposing mannerisms and comments. Blanche is so attached to her image
and the concept of Bell Reave that she covers up her flaws and guilt
through her compulsive lies. Stella has moved on from the Bell Reave and
the deep Southern concept; she is more open to the changing world than
Blanche is. Because of Blanches hysterical and compulsive nature
towards Belle Reave and her image, Stella would seem more suited to the
modern world through her flexibility and the society she lives in.
Blanche is a character who lives in and is attached to her past. She
arrives in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl,
white gloves and hat. In the New Orleans modern culture her clothes
would have been appropriate for a summer tea or cocktail party in the
garden district. The clothes that she wears conveys a lot about her
personality. The white clothes that Blanche wears are symbolic of purity
and class. However, this symbol indicates elements of irony and
juxtaposition towards Blanches personality. The fact that this image is
portrayed through the image of clothing may also suggest a symbol of
faade. Another important aspect of Blanches clothing is that it obviously
contrasts with the New Orleans environment. The symbol of facade shows
that Blanche is desperate to portray her image as pure and higher classed
in order to cover up her flaws. One way in which she does this is to make
herself look superior to the New Orleans community. Stella on the other
hand has a different approach to the New Orleans lifestyle. She is
described as a gentle young woman. Stella has left behind her past and
has managed to adapt to the modern world. Compared to Blanche, she is
more comfortable in her image and her place in New Orleans.

In the same set of stage directions, Blanche is said to have an

uncertain manner that suggests a moth. Like a moth, Blanche is drawn
to and craves her own disaster. She is drawn to the flames which could
potentially ruin her, however is unaware, or only subconsciously aware, of
this danger. Blanche also mentions about a streetcar named desire twice.
At first she mentions to Eunice in Scene 1 that they told [her] to take a
street-car named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and
ride six blocks and get off atElysian Fields! Later, she criticizes Stella on
her obsession for Stanley where she again mentions the streetcar. In this
second mention, we learn the significance of the title:
Blanche: What you are talking about is brutal desirejustDesire!
The name of that rattle-trap street-car that bangs through the Quarter,
up one old narrow street and down another
Havent you ever ridden on that street-car?
It brought me here.
Again, the symbol of the moth reappears. Blanche is unable to
control and take ownership of her desire. She is unable to think clearly
about the decisions she makes and it leads her down the path of insanity.
This therefore makes Blanche unsuited to cope with the modern world.
In conclusion, Stella is a lot more suited to the modern world than
Blanche. Blanche is stuck in the past and is unable to be more open to
change. She is overcome by her own desire which leads her to insanity
and her downfall. These are the characteristics of a person that are
certainly and upmost detrimental to ones ability to cope with change.

Gender + Domestic Violence

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