Line-by-line modern translations of every Shakespeare play … Blanche's famous line is full of terrible irony. The omission of the rape heightens our sense of its offensiveness and also reflects the notions of acceptable stage behavior held by Americans in 1947 , when A Streetcar Named Desire …

(I love a good close reading, and Williams is one of my favorite playwrights. During the final scene of "A Streetcar Named Desire," the audience witnesses Stella adopting the delusion that her husband is trustworthy—that he did not, in fact, rape her sister. Williams mimics classical tragedy by not showing Blanche’s rape, the play’s climax and most violent act. PDF downloads of all 1297 LitCharts literature guides, and of every new one we publish. This final line is incredibly important to understanding some key elements of A Streetcar Named Desire. Her fragility, her inability to fend for herself, and her self-deception has brought her to madness. The play chronicles the subsequent crumbling of Blanche’s self-image and sanity. "Death" has connotations of the literal death of her late husband, as well as the metaphorical death of her social life.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. This scene presents the final confrontation between Blanche and Stanley, with Stanley emerging as the undisputed winner.

Set in New Orleans, Louisiana shortly after World War II, the play explores the plight of impoverished Southern gentry and the rapid changes of Southern society in the industrial age. Hopefully I can expand on this later, but these are current thoughts): The context is important for understanding this line. The play was first produced in New York and Boston in 1947. Of course, the biggest example of this is during Scene 9 in the play, at Mitch’s final discovery that Blanche’s persona, everything she was and had told him, had been a lie. In the end, even her own sister has betrayed her. Stanley himself takes the final stabs at Blanche, destroying the remainder of her sexual and mental esteem by raping her and then committing her to an insane asylum.

Although reality ultimately triumphs over fantasy in Streetcar, Williams suggests through Blanche’s final, deluded happiness, that fantasy is an important and useful tool, a vital force which colors every individual experience, despite the inevitable triumph of objective reality.

For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: ). Teacher Editions with classroom activities for all 1297 titles we cover. Detailed quotes explanations with page numbers for every important quote on the site.

She’s out of place both geographically and temporally (that is, she's stuck in the wrong time). Critics and audiences alike harbor vastly torn opinions concerning Blanche’s role in the play, which range from praising her as a fallen angel victimized by her surroundings to damning her as a deranged harlot.

Blanche Dubois: An Antihero.

The A Streetcar Named Desire quotes below all refer to the symbol of Bathing.

In the end, Blanche blindly allows herself to be led away by a kind doctor, ignoring her sister’s cries. It is true that Blanche has often depended on the kindness of strangers, but all of them have abused and abandoned her.

The beginning of the scene reestablishes the basic difference between Blanche and Stanley. Blanche’s demise reflects the ruin and deterioration of the upper class as well as old values.

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