The story showed in the film “A Street Car Named Desire” was created by the famous American play writer Tennessee Williams, the author of multiple classical works that are known, loved and read all around the world.
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The film explores the life of Blanche DuBois. The woman goes through several depressing and tragic events, which cause her downfall and lead her to insanity. Blanche originally comes from an aristocratic family; she is drawn to wealth and beauty; she likes pretty things, surrounds herself with cheap attributes and symbols of a rich and happy life.
Even though many depressing things happen to this woman, she keeps being a dreamer; she hopes that her life will improve. In the very beginning of the film, we learn that Blanche has lost her husband and that it was an enormous shock for her, as she loved the man, and never knew why he committed his suicide. Soon after this first tragedy, another unpleasant incident has happened – Blanche has lost her job and had to move from her hometown to live with her sister Stella.
This decision starts Blanche’s finish line towards insanity. Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalsky is a rude, aggressive, materialistic man, who treats all Blanche’s dreams and fantasies as stupid nonsense and is all the time annoyed by this woman’s presence.
Creating the character of Stanley Tennessee Williams was inspired by a man he knew, a former co-worker. Blanche and Stanley have nothing in common; there is no doubt that they are each other’s opposites. In their interaction, Blanche gets hurt, offended, mistreated, and insulted time after time.
To my mind, the main feature of Blanche’s personality is her inability to accept the reality the way it is. Blanche keeps living inside of her head, creating an imaginary life for herself, with an amazing future. She lives in denial, and at some point, the boundaries between reality and her imagination start becoming vaguer. For a while, things seem to improve, and Blanche nearly marries a man who admires her, but this opportunity soon gets ruined by Stanley.
More and more shocking events happen to Blanche, and she is simply unable to handle them, her only way to feel better is pretending that the unpleasant and sad reality does not exist. Blanche DuBois is an escapist, her way of dealing with problems is hiding from these problems, running away – when her husband died she was trying to avoid the sufferings by running to other men.
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When she lost her job, and her reputation became bad – she left her hometown. Blanche’s sister and brother-in-law were her last shelter, and they became the reason why she could not get married again.
Blanche lives in constant tension created by inner stress, memories of the past, multiple unsuccessful relationships, and Stanley’s rudeness and aggression. When Stanley rapes her, this becomes the last drop for Blanche’s psyche. She has a massive nervous breakdown and becomes insane.
To my mind, the seeds of Blanche’s tragedy lie in the defense mechanism that made her create imaginary worlds and unreal lives for herself. This led her to a bad reputation, loss of her job; then it caused her forced visit to Stella and the appearance of Stanley in her life. Besides, it made her unable to resolve her issues and weakened her connection with reality.