The Reasons of Blanche’s Tragedy in A Streetcar Named Desire
WANG Shunda ( Tutor: GUO Ni )
(College of Arts and Science, Hubei Normal University, Huangshi, China, 435000)
Abstract: Tennessee Williams, as one of the most brilliant playwrights in the twentieth century in America，along with Arthur Miller and Eugene
O’Neill at that time were all called the United States of America's three big literary playwrights. Once created many excellent works, which is quite famous one is A Streetcar Named Desire that is the only won three
awards in American drama so far. A Streetcar Named Desire
by its exquisite depiction of characters, of fierce conflicts and the heroine of the tragedy of Blanche and by the general public's welcome
In recent years, there are different understandings among the scholars about the heroine Blanche's tragedy, public opinions are divergent. For some reason Blanche itself, some think that is the influence of social environment, and others think that is the impact of family education and so on. However, few scholars have almost no reason for the tragedy of Blanche to do a system analysis and research. Through my careful reading of the drama and tragedy of the comments about Blanche, this paper from three aspects, discusses in details the causes of Blanche's tragedy, and from her tragic ending to some insight and inspiration to us.
This thesis is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is the introduction part, introduces Williams's life and his works A Streetcar
Named Desire summarizes the content, briefly lists a few academic views and do a simple explanation of the "personal emotion, morality and interpersonal". The second chapter tells the story of Blanche's personal experience and her own tragic fate. The third chapter will cause analysis of the tragedy of Blanche system in detail, from the influence of personal factors, social background and important characters, discusses the three aspects. Chapter fourth through a combination of the Blanche tragedy to analysis of present Chinese social condition, problems, effectively improved, the construction of a harmonious society in china. Conclusion in the last chapter, through to the female tragedy description, inspired by
the modern people to examine their own values, to reflect on the pursuit of life, whether do between people of mutual understanding, mutual understanding, whether their own moral quality, whether to establish harmonious interpersonal relationships through friendly communication.
Keywords: A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche Personal Emotion
Morality Sense Interpersonal Association
The Reasons of Blanche’s Tragedy in A Streetcar Named Desire
1.1 A Brief Introdution to the Author and A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams was born in a turmoil of the family, the environment is so inspired many of his writing inspiration. Close to Williams and his sister rose, he was deeply affected by her. Rose is a very beautiful woman, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, most of the time spent in the psychiatric hospital. After psychological treatment several times are not effective, she became more and more paranoid. Her parents finally agreed to the frontal lobe white matter resection operation. The operation failed Ross is a great blow to Williams, this may also cause he will drink. Many paranoid female roles in Williams's drama, are likely to be affected by the rose. Williams's script character often directly on behalf of the members of his family, "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Blanche is to his sister as sample. As a southern playwright , Williams pays close attention to the fate of the southern middle class. A Streetcar
Named Desire, this drama’s heroine Blanche is deeply influenced by the
United States Southern Belle education, this drama tells her miserable experience and the experience to reflect the destruction of human nature and obliterate the prevailing social and cultural, political, economic and
war. The play was able to cause social support and appreciation at that time, largely in the works reflect the social situation and people's material and spiritual life. Williams wrote the play is not about Blanche's tragic fate, but let people through the tragedy of Blanche, to reflect on their own life, so as to encourage and inspire people to the construction of harmonious society
1.2 Overseas and Domestic Research Status
As a profilic playwright in the southern America , Willams’ plays give
rise to great interest in the US academic circles. There exists lots of critical books ,newspapers and papers that mainly analysis the causes of the Blanche’s tragedy. Every year , different scholars present different statements that result in the tragic of Blanche. After a large number of reading , next I will introduce some critics views on the Blanche’s
Hardison Londre from the perspective of new criticism, by comparison of growth and decline of scene of Blanche and Stanley and heave.(1) Gilbert Debussy analysis of the impact of European and American literary tradition of Williams's writing the screenplay themes and techniques of expression.(2) Megan Terry analysis from the perspective of feminism, thinks that Blanche is a traitor and a victim of the patriarchal society order.(3)
1.3 Introduction to Personal spirit, Morality and Interpersonal
2. Blanche and Her Tragic Fate
2.1 Blanche’s Personal Experience
Blanche as a representative of the traditional southern lady, should have a noble, comfortable manor life, but because of various reasons so that her life has changed direction. As a southern lady, to receive a good education, Blanche became a teacher of English in schools. Originally the life is good, but the cruel war makes the Blanche family estate loss and bankruptcy, family and relatives of dead, all this to the originally fragile heart Blanche hit. At the age of sixteen, she met her husband Alan, in her husband's perfect, but let her to accept is that she found her husband was gay. Unbearable reality and his wife's disappointment, Alan chose the Dutch act. Her husband's Dutch act let Blanche era, fear, not finding the way out in the emotional difficulties, she needs to find protection, need a sense of security, so she chose a life of debauchery. In the school temptation of minors, and the improper relationship, forced to be expelled from school. Intimate contact and later with the strange man, made her reputation suffer a disastrous decline. Be compelled helpless, she could only go to her sister's in New Orleans, where she hoped to start her new life.
2.2 Blanche’s Struggle Againist Her Tragic Fate
In spite of the suffered a death in the family, home of the lost, her
husband's suicide, forced to resign and leave home, Blanche still full of hope for life. In the left life for decades hometown, Blanche embarked in a streetcar named desire came to New Orleans with my family. Hope here, she can put aside the past, forget the past cannot bear to think of the past, start new life. Although the fate of her gentle, sensitive and vulnerable people without pity, her heart still have a lot of hope for the future.
Came to New Orleans sister's home, the brother-in-law Stanley, Blanche met Mitch. As a single man, Mitch has undoubtedly made Blanche's life there is new hope. She is like a vast expanse of water, see a lifeboat. Mitch is different from the other male is his gentle, honest, honest with Blanche, this let Blanche accident surprise. In order to get rid of the past, start a new life, Blanche conceal their issues of the past, deliberately plan to do her husband Mitch. She describes herself as a pure virgin, coined a romantic story.
3. Reasons of Blanche's Tragedy
3.1 Her Personal Factors
3.1.1 Her Haughty Character
Life in old age is the civil war alternate, Blanche has accepted the traditional education of Southern lady, that she thinks he is better than the northerners to noble. At the same time, the South economic success has bred her pride and sense of superiority. Even after the end of the civil war, the new northern industrial bourgeoisie replaces the traditional Southern
plantation economy, her traditional southern superiority and proud of the momentum did not change. She is still living in the old days, still with aristocratic identity. As a Southern plantation owner's daughter, her childhood, enveloped in the social sense of superiority, her horse, defiance, to all the people and things around holding the attitude of contempt. Even when forced to leave his hometown, to avoid New Orleans's sister, her body or with ingrained traditional aristocratic southern thought. The story began, Blanche to the noble lady who came to her home. At that time, she was homeless, destitute, have a house to live life was a good treatment in New Orleans can, but she still lives in an unreal world of yourself. However, this seemingly small and dirty house, for the northern working class is already a good condition. As an aristocrat lady, Blanche still despise all, sister in the home still noble identity, provoke Stella and Stanley married life. In her opinion, Stanley is not as his sister's husband. She looked down on the Stanley, Stanley looked down, this let Stanley unbearable. Originally thought to two different people, between each other is easy to have the contradiction, plus Blanche Stanley insult, slander and unreasonable, eventually inspired dislike and contempt for Stanley, to revenge. The great-hearted, contempt for all the noble sense of superiority foreshadowing buried for her tragic fate, a bitter pill.
3.1.2 Escaping from Reality，Living in Illusion
Sensitive, fragile Blanche love fantasy is a woman, often can not integrate into the real life. From the discovery of the husband is gay, and her husband Alan perfect image in my heart be destroyed on one day. She is not willing to and gay husband to live together, is not willing to help her out of trouble. In desperation, the husband not to forgive Blanche, their choice of shot Dutch act. Her husband's Dutch act makes Blanche great guilt, guilt and fear, she dreamed that if he and the others to love, she will forget the past cruel experience. Therefore, she started and strange men who have intimate relationship, hope to find from their own, can take care of themselves. In the later, because and school juvenile male classmate relationship, she was fired after things exposure school. In my hometown's reputation is getting worse, in order to survive, she had to go as far away as New Orleans sister. On the way to her home, she tried to hide his crime, pretending to be very happy. To go home to sister fantasy is to go on holiday. So she made up a lot of lies to deceive the people around her, even cheat her.
In the first scene of the play, Blanche has just arrived in New Orleans on sister home, she saw and imagine yourself in a completely different house, with her sister and is the southern aristocratic identity to attack this is not good enough to let sister living in the house. When she arrived at the Yidien lots, sister's neighbor Eunice told her where her sister lived, her reaction is "they don't understand - I want to find the
house number,,,". When Eunice told her, this is the place you're looking for, her reaction is "this is this - her?" These reactions are explained, she still lives in the fantasy, to accept the reality of life. Then, in the sisters talked, talked about Blanche leaving reason from the teaching of the school. She has no real say why you leave the job to his sister here, but tell the reasons as follows:
“I was so exhausted by all I’d been through my – nerves broke. I was
on the verge of lunacy, almost! So Mr.Graves – Mr. Graves is the high
school superintendent – he suggested I take a leave of absence.” (4；
Blanche once said, "I don't want realism", she naively believed that the beauty of the mind and spiritual purity can conceal her over the past. Since her husband's death, she did not dare to contact with others in the bright light. Immersed in the dim, dim light, so that she can feel at ease to dream the impossible happened. She likes the dark and dim light, because the environment in which she felt gloomy past can be hidden. So she would feel at ease, think that the past is well hidden, but she was wrong. Thought to hide the past, people will not know, but her crime in the eyes of others is washed away. In her home, she continued to take a shower, think this way can clean off his bodily dirty. But when Blanche came out of the bathroom, Stanley always appear. This makes Blanche to be abruptly back to reality.