Blanches Speeches In 'a Streetcar Named Desire' Tiffin Girls Essay

568 words - 3 pages

What contribution to the audiences understanding of Blanche’s character do the following key speeches make?
As the protagonist of Tennessee William’s play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Blanche Dubois embodies Williams himself, as a woman of fragility lost in the emerging world of New Orleans. Williams effectively uses these speeches to allow the audience to understand Blanche as a character of complexity with vulnerability coupled with her internal struggle for protection born from her ideals as a Southern Belle.
Blanche’s vulnerability is progressively revealed by Williams throughout the play. However even from her first monologue in Scene 1, Williams presents Blanche as a woman with a conflicting troubled past, making the audience aware that she may have underlying issues. Her hyperbolic insight into the troubles she faced not only begs a level of sympathy from the audience but perhaps allows them to question how true her words are. Initially Williams draws attention to the harsh surroundings Blanche witnessed as he employs a tricolon of descriptions beginning with ‘sometimes’ to suggest the poignance of this reality and its long-lasting effect on her. However, this embellished language signalled using the verb ‘rattles’ along with her reproaching Stella by the end of the speech in her accusing tone may suggest that her past is having a profound influence on herself and her eloquence on the surface conceals the vulnerability seen later in the play. This speech gives the first insight into Blanche’s character and Williams successfully presents and foreshadows Blanche’s vulnerability as he creates parallels with other key speeches. Blanche explains how she often heard ‘don’t let me go’ however Williams makes the speaker unclear suggesting that this is a reflection of...

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