A Streetcar Named Desire Important Characters

Blanche DuBois is the most intriguing character in the novel, therefore she deserves deeper analysis. Born and raised in a wealthy family, she has the manners of a real lady. However, her life journey has taken the wrong course many years ago and all that's left from nobility and higher rank are those manners, which she uses to cover her real self.

She is having hard times coping with the fact that her youth and beauty are fading, therefore she hides her age and spends too much time worrying about her looks. She pretends to be morally clean and sober-minded, yet can't cope with the demons inside her head. First marriage that ended tragically, loss of many family members, as well as loss of their home has taken its toll on Blanche. She developed psychological issues which turned her into an alcoholic. Unable to cope with reality, when things start spinning out of control, Blanche becomes hysterical, start imagining things or switches to a fantasy world in the best case. However, there are more evidences of her integrity downfall. She allowed herself to go as low as to sleep with countless men and become an outcast with a reputation of an unmoral woman.

Her wardrobe full of gowns and jewelry testifies about her desperate attempts to find a man who will save her from the path she has taken. When she fails in attempt to reach her former suitor, Shep Huntleigh, Mitch becomes his substitute although he is far from a perfect candidate. Her dependence on men is visible in these relations, as well as in the end when she takes doctor's hand and says that she had always depended on men. However, this theme goes beyond Blanche's character. Tennessee draws attention to a social problem in postwar America, when women's position in society was unjust.

The act of rape is the final straw that sends her over the edge. Not only does Stanley hurt her physically and traumatized, he manages to break sisters' bond and leave vulnerable Blanche at mercy of asylum's stuff.

Stanley Kowalski is the symbol of raw power and masculinity. His character is best described in his relation to Blanche- he is intolerant, taunting and eventually mean. Stanley has his roots in Poland, but hates to be called Polish. He likes to emphasize the fact that he is born in America, therefore can only be American. Here, Tennessee pictures heterogeneous America where people of all origins live together- something that Blanche can't quite understand.

Throughout the novel, Stanley fights with Blanche for his territory that she occupied, as well as for Stella's favor. Being rivals, Stanley plays dirty in order to regain his thrown. He even emphasizes that he's the king in his house- something that shouldn't be brought into the question if it was for real. Anyway, this turns Stanley and Blanche into opponents until one of them leaves the battle field.

His animosity toward Blanche makes him dig deep into her past and bring out all the dirty laundry she has tried to hide. It's obvious that he enjoys the fact that Blanche is not as prudish as she tried to present herself. Perhaps that's because of himself being far from a respectable figure, with poker, drinking and bowling as hobby, having fights and hitting his pregnant wife when he feels like it, and eventually raping his sister in law.

Mitch differs from his friends. Although they are all similar and "common" as Blanche likes to say, Mitch is somewhat more sensitive. He has no manners, physical strength and masculinity are equally important to him as to Stanley, but he has a gentle side, probably due to his personal issues. Unmarried and having to take care of his dying mother, Mitch is the only one (beside Stella) who understand how deeply Blanche's tragedy affected her. However, he also gets the opportunity to show his other side when he learns that Blanche has been lying to him for a long time. He visits her visibly drunk and expects to have sex, or to put it more precisely, he believes that he deserves to have sex with her since he waited for so long while she pretended to be a virgin. However, he doesn't cross the limit and goes away after her warnings. Although it seems that he has lost interest in Blanche after finding out about her past, at the end of the novel he shows that he hasn't got over her completely.

Stella is the most neutral character in the novel. She gives her best to balance between beloved sister and husband and show respect to both. However, sometimes she falls under her sister's influence, which immediately affects her relationship with her husband, and sometimes she can't help but rely on her husband's reason and turn back to her sister. This thorns her apart. However, at the end of the novel it's clear that she chose her husband over her sister. One of reasons for that could be the social aspect of the novel, women's emotional and financial dependence on men.

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