Perception plays an integral role in the fabric of human existence, simply because it affects how we view ourselves and also others view us. Blanche Dubois, Stanley Kowalski, Harold Mitch, and Stella Kowalski all learned this through their continuous evolution throughout “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, however by focusing on Blanche’s relations and also her past we are able to see the role that that perception plays in her life.
When Blanche says,”A woman’s charm is fifty percent illusion” this becomes increasingly significant because it is a demonstration of her self-perception bout the role of a proper, woman in society. With that being said Blanche does not only believe this general perception, rather she embraces it so that it becomes part of her very identity. She believed that by setting aside her reality she would be able to focus on living a life of illusion, which she would be able to use in order to escape her troubled past.
Her life was basically a living tragedy in which she would lose all those who were important to her. She lost her heart when her fiance Alan committed suicide , she lost her younger sister Stella to Stanley, nd she lost the rest of her family due to untimely visit by death. It is only when we understand Blanche’s past that we are able to understand why she lives a life of illusion. She was a young lass who had many people whom she shared loving relationships, however as time passed and her beauty dimmed those she loved began to drop out of her life.
Her fiance Alan committed suicide after she found him in bed with another man and she expressed her true feelings about what she had seen him doing, not long after the death of her fiance her younger sister, Stella, moved to New Orleans and married Stanley Kowalski. Then after Stella got married Blanche only had her family that was still living on the plantation, however, a time passed they all to died within a mere matter of months. This left Blanche all alone trying to live a life a luxury, however, she could not afford it and she would go on to lose the plantation.
In short Blanche`s life has been filled with loss and after a while, even the strongest of character can break under extraneous circumstances, which is what happened to Blanche. She had suffered so much during her life that she no longer understood what was important to er. Blanch says this best when she say to Stella, “.. I took the blows in my face and my body! All of those deaths.. funerals are quiet, but the deaths-not always.. funerals are quiet, with pretty flowers.. death is expensive… Which of them left a cent.. oor Jessie-one hundred to pay for her coffin.. let the place go… in bed with your-Polack! “. This quote from Blanche is directly relatable to her emotional state both in the past and also the present. She claims that everyone in her life had something to lose, however only she cared enough to try and help. She tried to correct her fiance’s behavior (Alan) before he committed suicide, then she tried to pay for her family’s funerals and also Belle Reve, however, she was unable to make ends meet and eventually lost everything that she had ever cared about.
Blanche tried to replace the void in her life through the use of alcohol and also free sex, however, she was still unable to find happiness. She would later get run out of her home in Laurel after she became the disgrace of the town, town slut, and she loses her job after she attempts to have intimate relationships ith her students. These two events leave her homeless and without a job, so in order to survive she decides to call on her younger sister, Stella, who is living in New Orleans with a war veteran.
She believes that if she was to go and live with Stella, both Stella and Stanley would be happy to provide for her as she lives out the rest of her fantasies and possible finds herself a new man. She succeeds in finding a new man, Mitch, however, he later calls her a dirty slut that is not clean enough to bring into the house with his mother. Basically, Blanche got caught in er web of lies after she began attacking Stanley’s authority and out of spite he tipped of Mitch about Blanche’s true self and the Mitch dumps Blanche.
This triggers an emotional breakdown, in which Blanches false hopes begin to come crashing down around her and in the end, Stanley decide to exert his dominance over her, which causes for Blanche to completely fall apart at the seams. Blanche is so emotionally distraught about what had happened to her that she gets sent away to a mental asylum the help she needed or at least live out her illusions away from everyone else. Blanche`s life was basically ruined by the that she would finally be able to get illusions since she started to believe that her emotional attachment to the realities of the world where what destroyed her life.
She believed that if she was to ignore the problems around her she would be able to create a better life for herself and in turn possibly create a better world for those around her. She basically blamed herself for the troubles of her past even though there was nothing she could have done to prevent them; her fiance was gay and he committed suicide because he did ot feel like he would be embraced by society after Blanche discovered his secret, then as for the deaths of her family and Stella leaving her: it is a simple demonstration of how life moves on whether you want it to or not.
The human race has a simple life cycle; birth, life, death so it is only natural that Stella would move away and get married and it was only fate that everyone else she had loved died one after the other, it was inevitable when they would die. The simplest way to describe why Blanche turned to illusions was so that she could find inner peace. She ould not understand what was happening in her life and she figured that if she tried to pretend that everything was alright all her problems would go away, however she did not count on running into the inevitable realities of life which came after she met Stanley and Mitch.
Stanley saw right through her web of lies and after a while so did Mitch, which cause her to realize that no matter how hard she tried to escape reality, it would alway come crashing down on her in the end. came from Stanley raping Blanche was one that forever changes Blanche’s perspective about the relation of her elusive values nd how they fit with values of reality. Stanley completely crush`s the last of her illusionist values which she was using to try and cover up her broken heart.
In the second last scene of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Blanche is portrayed telling Stanley that a rich ex-boyfriend Shep Huntleigh has sent her a telegram and that after she broke Mitch`s heart he came crying back to her with flowers. Stanley interrupts and points out a critical flaw in her story he as just with Mitch. It is then that Stanley starts to The realization that deflate what is left of Blanche’s world of illusions and at the end f the play he destroys her last bit self-esteem by making fun of her and taunting her as the Doctor and Matron take her away to the mental asylum.
One of the main themes this story showed was the disconnect between illusion and also reality, this theme is deeply reflected in the question about what is the role of self- perception when trying to mend the division between illusions and reality. This play shows us that the division between the two can never truly be repaired and the only way they can coexist is if both the world of illusions and the world of reality are both used to keep one another in check.