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    A Streetcar Named Desire Essay (1308 words)

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    Discuss how Williams dramatises Blanche’s final demise into madness in the last three scenes. Make references back to previous scenes where appropriate. There are many ways in which Williams dramatises Blanche’s final demise into madness in the last three scenes. The first is his usage of music. In scene IX, the polka tune ‘Varsouviana’ is playing. However, the next line says that it is in her head. This tune represents her past and old America. Then Mitch knocks at the door. He used to, and she hopes he still does, represent a new life for her, as she wanted to marry him, for protection.

    Once she hears him speak, the music stops. This does not seem odd to her. Williams is trying to present to the audience that she does not understand that it is in her head, and she has just accepted it. Then later, she starts to realise that something is wrong with Mitch. She could be wondering if he has heard things about her past. Just then, the music starts again. When Mitch asks what music, she says; “The ‘Varsouviana’? The polka tune they were playing when Allan – wait! A distant revolver shot is heard, Blanche seems relieved. There now, the shot!

    It always stops after that. The polka music dies out again. ” Here Williams shows that the music she keeps hearing is the music that was playing just before her husband shot himself, which is why it stops after she hears a gunshot. This seems to imply that her life started to go wrong and her madness came from when her husband died. This also shows that she is still living in that time and everything she does is connected to that time; she can’t forget about it. The next time she hears the music in scene IX is after a women appears outside selling flowers for the dead.

    This reminds her of all of the people that have died in her family, and she recalls out loud to herself when she used to live at Belle Reve and all the bad things that happened. The next time she hears music is in scene X. She and Stanley are alone while Stella is having her baby. Blanche is distressed as she realises Stanley doesn’t believe her lies, and he has just told her that he knows that there is no Shep Huntleigh who has invited her on a cruise. She is trying to get past Stanley, and thinks he will ‘interfere’ with her, and then she hears the ‘blue piano’ which represents Stanley and new America.

    This music is a way for Williams to signal Stanley’s dominance. This shows that she knows that he has power over her and she is afraid of him, as he knows about her past and her lies and he has stopped her future with Mitch. In scene XI, Blanche hears the ‘Varsouviana’ when she comes out from the bathroom. Stella has arranged for her to be taken to a Mental Institute, but she thinks that she is going to see Shep Huntleigh. The music here represents her mind, as she thinks she is going away to see Shep Huntleigh, and she is going to carry on.

    It plays again when Eunice says that there is a caller at the door for Blanche, and she believes it is Shep Huntleigh. The music continues playing as she realises it is not who she was expecting. Once the matron tries to bring her out, the music gets distorted. This shows that she is very confused and she completely loses control. Lastly, as she leaves it is silent. This implies that her mind is also silent, and she is going with the Doctor simply because he seemed kind. By using the music in this way, Williams dramatises how she feels.

    She has always heard the music, but then she hears it distorted, showing how she is seeing things in her mind. Then the music stops, which shows Blanche’s last connection with sanity broken. Another way that Williams dramatises Blanche’s final demise into madness is the way she dresses. She always dresses really well and in light colours. When she is first seen in the beginning of scene I, she is described to dress; “As if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. ” However, although they appear to be expensive, they aren’t. For example, her diamond tiara is actually rhinestone.

    How she dresses represents how she is. She tries really hard to always make sure she is clean and dressed nicely, so that she appears clean and nice. She bathes a lot of the time so she feels clean. In scene V she accidentally gets coke on her dress, and she screams, but calms down once she realises it is not stained. Stella asks her; “Blanche, why did you scream like that? ” Blanche doesn’t give her an answer. This shows that she doesn’t really know, or doesn’t want to think about it. She also dresses mostly in light colours and white, which represents virginity, where she is trying to forget her past as a prostitute.

    In the beginning of scene I, the description of her is; “looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or a cocktail party in the garden district”. This shows that this is where she would like to be going, and how she would like to be seen. In scene X, at the beginning of the scene, she is dressed in a crumpled and stained white dress and scuffed shoes; “she has decked herself out in a somewhat soiled and crumpled white satin evening gown and a pair of scuffed silver slippers”. This is where she is starting to show her true self, and she is not trying so hard to pretend that she is rich and innocent anymore.

    This is after Stanley has given her tickets back to Laurel, which she can’t do, and after Mitch said he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. Everyone knows about her past, so she is no longer trying to conceal it. She doesn’t see a future for herself, as she can no longer marry Mitch and Stanley is forcing her out. In scene XI, she is wearing clean clothes again and dressing nicely, as she thinks that she id going away with Shep Huntleigh, although it is all in her mind and she is actually going to a Mental Institute. This shows that she is trying again to make herself look nice to deceive this man.

    Another way Williams dramatises Blanche’s final demise into madness is by the way she acts. At the beginning of scene IX she is sitting in a tense, hunched position, and she is drinking liquor. This shows she is trying to escape what has happened; Mitch did not show up at her birthday party, and Stanley gave her a bus ticket back to Laurel. When Mitch arrives, he is drunk, unshaven and rude to her, but she just ignores it. As Mitch says; “I wasn’t going to see you any more”, she says that she can’t hear him. This shows that she is just trying to escape reality.

    She always avoids harsh light, as she doesn’t like people knowing how old she is. When Mitch firsts asks her, she manages to change the subject, and she only goes out with him when it is dark. Once he tears the paper lantern off of the light bulb, she cries out. This is because she cannot hide how she looks anymore. She has always been sensitive about her age and how she looks, like when she only lets Mitch see her after dark in dimly-lighted place. The lantern represents her fragile shell of normality and beauty hiding her interior which she doesn’t want anyone else to see.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    A Streetcar Named Desire Essay (1308 words). (2017, Sep 24). Retrieved from

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