Tennesse Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire is a story about the psychological breakdown of the main character, Blanche DuBois. Blanche is a southern belle who has come to New Orleans to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley. Blanche is not used to the rough lifestyle of Stella and Stanley and she soon begins to crack under the pressure.
Blanche’s psychological breakdown can be traced back to her childhood. She was raised in a wealthy family, but her father committed suicide when she was very young. This event had a profound effect on Blanche, and it is something that she still struggles with today. Blanche’s mother was also not very supportive and she often made fun of Blanche’s appearance and mannerisms.
As Blanche grows older, she continues to struggle with her psychological problems. Her sheltered upbringing has left her emotionally fragile and prone to bouts of depression and anxiety. She becomes dependent on alcohol and starts to engage in promiscuous behavior, both of which only serve to exacerbate her issues.
Ultimately, Blanche is unable to cope with the stress of living in a world that she feels is so different from what she is used to. She suffers a complete mental breakdown and ends up losing everything that she holds dear – her sister Stella, her home in New Orleans, and ultimately even her sanity. However, by facing the realities of the world around her, Blanche begins the long journey towards healing and recovery.
In Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the audience is introduced to a character named Blanche DuBois. Blanche is Stella’s younger sister who has come to visit Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans for the first time. After their initial meeting, Stanley develops an intense hatred for Blanche and everything connected with her. Stanislav
Blanche’s stay with Stella is further complicated when Stanley reveals to Stella that Blanche has been fired from her teaching job because she was caught having an affair with a student. Blanche then lies to Stella and tells her that she was forced to resign because of the stress caused by being in charge of the students.
Although Stanley does not directly state it, his actions and words towards Blanche make it clear that he believes she is nothing more than a liar and a cheat. This belief is further reinforced when Stanley learns that Blanche has also been lying about her age.
The final straw for Stanley comes when he overhears a conversation between Blanche and Mitch, one of Stella’s friends who has taken a romantic interest in Blanche. Stanley hears Mitch saying that he does not want to continue seeing Blanche because she is too fragile and sensitive for him. Enraged, Stanley accuses Blanche of being crazy, which ultimately leads to her psychological breakdown.
Despite the negativity from many characters throughout the play, it seems that Stella cares deeply for her sister and is able to help Blanche recover from her psychological breakdown. Through their relationship we see how Stella’s unconditional love for Blanche acts as a source of strength and support during difficult times. Ultimately, this makes it clear that while Blanche may have struggled with mental illness, she was still loved and supported by those around her.
Blanche has also misled Stanley and his wife about the family home, according to him. He feels she is a useless “leech” that has attached herself to his household and is just living off of him. Blanche’s long-standing refusal to face reality leads to her breakdown in her irrational reaction to death, dependence, and lack of self-defense against Stanley’s assaults.
Tennesse Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire is a powerful study of human frailty and desire. The character of Blanche DuBois, a fading southern belle who comes to New Orleans to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley, is one of the most fascinating and tragic characters in American literature.
Blanche is a woman who is desperately trying to hold on to her youth and beauty, but she is slowly losing her grip on reality. As the play progresses, we see Blanche’s mental state deteriorate as she becomes more and more paranoid and delusional. By the end of the play, she has completely lost touch with reality and is committed to an insane asylum.
While there are many factors that contribute to Blanche’s breakdown, I believe that her inability to deal with death is one of the most important. Throughout the play, we see Blanche obsess over the idea of death and dying. She is constantly talking about how she doesn’t want to grow old and die, and she is terrified of being alone. I think this fear stems from her own mortality; she knows that she is getting older and that her beauty will eventually fade. In order to cope with this fear, she attempts to avoid anything that reminds her of death.
For example, when Stella’s husband Stanley knocks a radio into a bathtub and it breaks, Blanche becomes hysterical. She starts screaming and crying, and she has to be restrained by Stella. What Stanley did was a very common and simple action, but to Blanche it symbolizes death. She sees the broken radio as a reminder that all things must eventually break and die, including herself.
Another factor in Blanche’s breakdown is her unhealthy dependency on others. Throughout the play, she relies on both Stella and Stanley for financial support and emotional comfort. In many ways, they become like parents to her while she lives with them in New Orleans. However, this relationship is not beneficial to either party; by depending on others so much, Blanche prevents herself from growing emotionally or maturing properly. This inability to develop independence leads to her eventual mental collapse when she no longer has anyone to lean on.
Finally, another important cause of Blanche’s breakdown is her inability to defend herself from Stanley’s attacks. At the beginning of the play, she seems confident and strong, but as she becomes more unstable and paranoid, she becomes more vulnerable to verbal and physical assault from others. For example, in one scene Blanche cries out “You’re insufferable! You know that? A big animal with no manners! A menaced creature! I’ll pull wool over your eyes…I tempt you – draw you – lure you – teach you!”
This outburst shows us that Blanche will lash out at anyone who threatens her false image of perfect femininity. However, it also reveals the weak side of Blanche; instead of standing up for herself or fighting back against Stanley’s mistreatment, she resorts to name-calling and empty threats. This weakness ultimately leads to her downfall, as Stanley is able to take advantage of her and have her committed to an asylum.
Tennesse Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragic story of a woman’s descent into madness. Blanche DuBois is a complex and fascinating character, and her psychological breakdown is the result of many factors, including her inability to deal with death, her dependency on others, and her lack of self-defense against Stanley’s abuse. While the play is set in the specific time and place of New Orleans in the 1940s, its themes of human frailty and desire are timeless and universal.