A Streetcar Named Desire Scenes 7 and 8 Summary

It's the middle of September and it's Blanche's birthday. Stella is decorating the birthday cake. Stanley enters the room and wants to know what's the occasion for celebration. He criticizes Stella for being a servant to Blanche. Disapproval of her presence in his house turns into something more when he spread the news he has heard about allegedly sensitive and innocent Blanche. Namely, a supply man in a plant where Stanley works said he knew Blanche very well. He had met her in Laurel. Oblivious to the conversation in the kitchen, Blanche is singing in the bathroom while taking a bath. Stanley continues to gossip Blanche; information is completely opposite of how Blanche likes to be presented, which sheds new light on this character. According to his story, Blanche had been living in Laurel for some time after she had lost Belle Reve, and became famous there, but not for her innocence and sensibility. She stayed in a second-class hotel named "Flamingo", but the management of the hotel asked her to move out. She dated men for some time but they would all leave her eventually, after seeing her true face. She would then find another man, and play the same tricks as before. After a while, people knew about her and avoided her. She became a "town character." As if all that wasn't enough, people rumored about her having something to do with men in the army camp. Furthermore, the story about her having a break from the teaching job turns out to be a lie as well- she got fired after kissing a seventeen year old boy.

Stella is in disbelief and refuses to buy into this story, but Stanley is about to drop a bombshell- in order to prevent his friend from becoming a fool, he shared all the information with Mitch, who isn't interested in Blanche anymore. Now, Mitch isn't coming to Blanche's birthday party, although Blanche doesn't know that yet and expects him any minute.

She emerges from the bathroom, in a great mood. Stella is devastated with the whole situation, but pretends that everything is ok for Blanche's sake.

The Scene 8 describes the dreary scene of three of them sitting in the kitchen. Stanley and Stella are not in a good mood, while Blanche smiles although she seems worried. To break the silence, she asks Stanley to tell a joke, which he refuses, so she takes the role of an entertainer. She tells a joke, but ends up being the only one who laughs. Stanley ignores the joke, which Stella finds rude. She calls him a pig, nags about his greasy fingers and demands that he helps her clear the table. Irritated with the tone of her voice, he takes a plate and smashes it onto the floor, then grabs her hand and warns her never to talk to him like that. Every man is a king, and he is the king in his own house, therefore, she should be respectful. Stella begins to cry and Blanche now openly suspects that he has told something to Stella while they were alone. She insists to call Mitch, but Stella advise her not to. Nevertheless, she tries to make a call but gets no reply. Meanwhile, the tension between three of them is rising. Stanley is certain that everything will fall in its place as soon as Blanche leaves their home.

Suddenly, the phone rings. Blanche believes it's Mitch, but it turns out to be one of Stanley's friends. As if nothing has happened just a minute before, Stanley arranges the bowling party with his friends. Then he goes back to Blanche and Stella, takes an envelope from his pocket, hands it to Blanche by saying that he hasn't forgotten about her birthday. Flattered, she takes it only to find a ticket to Laurel in it. She tries to smile, but that attempt fails. Unable to control her emotions, so she leaves the kitchen.

Stanley pays no attention to her and decides to go bowling as planned. Stella is shaken with the whole situation and follows Stanley through the house, displeased with the fact that he's going outside now that he has ruined her sister's birthday. Having enough of everything, Stanley tells her how happy they were before Blanche entered their lives. He reminds her how desperately she wanted to be rescued from sophisticated society and Belle Reve, though he was common from the start. Stella becomes unusually silent. Puzzled with lack of her reaction, he asks if everything is alright, but all she can say is to take her to the hospital.

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