A Street Car Named Desire
The Many Traits of Blanch
Everyone has relatives that come and visit. Some people don¹t like their relatives and they hate when relatives visit. Tennessee Williams shows this feeling between Stanley and Blanch in the book A Street Car Named Desire. It is the things that Blanch says and does that makes Stanley dislike her. Blanch is vein, untruthful, and is seductive.
Blanch is a very vein person. A lot of the things she does is so she looks good. Stanley first discovers this in ³Scene Two²:
Stanley: Look at these feathers and furs that she come here to preen herself in!
He believes that she was swindling them, so he looks through her trunk and discovers a lot of fancy looking clothing and jewelry.
Blanch has also been noted in ³Scene Two² saying that she was vein When she was talking to Stanley:
Stanley: It looks like you raided some stylish shops in Paris
Blanch: Ha-ha! Yes-clothes are my passion!
She does not directly say she is vein but it is implied.
Another time that she is noted for being vein is in ³Scene Ten²,
this is when Stanley and Blanch are yelling at each other:
Stanley: And look at yourself! Take a look at yourself in that worn out Mardi Gras outfit, rented for fifty cents from some rag- picker! And with the crazy crown on! What queen do you think you are?
Stanley: I¹ve been on to you from the start! Not once did you pull any wool over this boy¹s eyes! You come in here and sprinkle the place with power and spray perfume and cover the light bulb with a paper lantern, and lo and behold the place has turned into Egypt and you are the Queen of the Nile! Sitting on your throne swilling down my liquor! I say-Ha!-Ha! Do you hear me? Ha-ha-ha!
He is saying that she tries to look glamorous with her clothes and her jewelry, but he can see through that and she does not look glamorous at
One of Blanch¹s strong traits is that is a compulsive liar. In ³Scene Three² she admits to Stanley that she lies a lot.
Blanch: All right. Cards on the table. That suits me. [She turns to Stanley.] I know I fib a good deal. After all a woman¹s charm is fifty present illusion, but when a thing is important I tell
the truth and this is the truth: I haven¹t cheated my sister or you or anyone else as long as I have lived.
Although Blanch lies a lot, and she even admits to it. In that paragraph she is not lying, as far as anyone can tell about what she is telling Stanley.
In ³Scene Ten² Stanley and Blanch have been talking and Stanley has been listen to Blanch lie to him.
Blanch: But then he came back. He returned with a box of roses to beg for my forgiveness! He implored my forgiveness. But some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never, never have been guilty. And so I told him, I said to him, ³Thank you,² but it was foolish of me to think that we could ever adapt ourselves to each other. Our ways of life are too different. Our attitudes and our backgrounds are incompatible. We have to be realistic about such things. So farewell, my friend! And let there be no hard feelings...
Stanley: Was this before or after the telegram came from the Texas oil millionaire?
Blanch: What telegram! No! No, after! As a matter of fact, the wire
came just as-
Stanley: As a matter of fact there wasn't no wire at all!
Blanch: Oh, oh!
Stanley: There isn¹t no millionaire! And Mitch didn¹t come back with roses Œcause I know where he is-
Stanley: There isn¹t a god dam thing but imagination!
Stanley: And lies and conceit and tricks!
Stanley had gotten sick of listening to Blanch¹s lies, so he tells her that he knows about the lies, conceit and tricks.
When Blanch lies to people she is deceiving them which can hurt the deceived, and in the end the deceiver. In ³Scene Nine² this just happens:
Blanch: What do you want?
Mitch: [fumbling to embrace her ]: What I have been missing all summer.
Blanch: Then marry me, Mitch!
Mitch: I don¹t think I want to marry you any more.
Mitch: [dropping his hands from her waist ] You¹re not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother
Blanch: Go away, then. [He stares at her ] Get out of here quick before I start screaming fire! [Her throat is tightening with hysteria ] Get out of here quick before I start screaming fire. [He still remaining staring. She suddenly rushes to the big window with its pale blue squares of the soft summer light and cries wildly. ]
Fire! Fire! Fire!
Mitch had found out about Blanch¹s lies from Stanley. Now Mitch will not marry Blanch because he found out that she lied and that he now knows the truth.
Another trait that has been branded to Blanch is that she likes to seduce men preferably younger men which has been observed at the end of ³Scene Five²:
Blanch: You make my mouth water. [She touches his cheek lightly, and smiles. Then she goes to the trunk. ]
Young Man: Well I¹d better be going-
Blanch [stopping him ]: Young man!
[He turns. She takes a large, gossamer scarf from the trunk and drapes it about her shoulders. ]
[In the ensuing pause, the ³blue piano² is heard. It continues through the rest of the scene and the opening of the next. The
young man clears his throat and looks yearningly at the door. ]
Young man! Young young young man! Has anyone ever told you that you look like a Prince out of the Arabian Nights?
[The young Man laughs uncomfortably and stands like a bashful kid. Blanch speaks softly to him. ]
Well, you do, honey lamb! Come here. I want to kiss you, just once, softly and sweetly on your mouth!
[Without waiting for him to accept, she crosses quickly to him and presses her lips to his. ]
Now run along, now, quickly! It would be nice to keep you, but I¹ve got to be good-and keep my hands off children.
In this scene Blanch seduces a young man that was collecting money for the Kowalski¹s newspaper subscription.
In ³Scene Seven² Stanley is talking to Stella telling her about blanch and how she ended up leaving school. It was because she had been seducing another young man.
Stanley: She¹s not going back to teach school! I fact I am willing to bet you that she never had no idea of returning to Laurel! She didn¹t resign temporary from high school because of her nerves! No siree, Bob! She didn¹t. They kicked her out of that high school before the spring term ended-and I hate to tell you the
reason that step was taken! A seventeen-year-old boy-she¹d gotten mixed up with!
When Blanch was a teacher she had been seducing a student. The parents of the student found out about this, told the superintendent and she ended up getting fired from her job.
Not all the seduction she did was on young men. She also tried to seduce Stanley in ³Scene Two².
Blanch: My, but you have impressive judicial air!
[She sprays herself with her atomizer; then playfully sprays him with it. He seizes the atomizer and slams it down on the dresser. She throws back her head and laughs. ]
Stanley: If I didn¹t know that you was my wife¹s sister I¹d get ideas about you!
Blanch: Such as what!
Stanley: Don¹t play so dumb. You know what!
Her and Stanley had been talking about her losing Belle Reve and she starts flirting with him.
The traits that Blanches has only makes her miserable. It also makes the lives of the other characters miserable. Blanche¹s vanity only annoys Stanley this is clear in ³Scene Seven². By now he has gotten sick of her spending so much time in the bathroom ³freshening up² so he yells
³Hey, Canary bird! Toots! Get OUT of the BATHROOM!² to speed her along.
Being untruthful can have a great impact on the lives of others. This is a big trait of Blanches through the entire book she is untruthful. One life that has a great impact due to Blanche¹s lies is Mitch which has been displayed in ³Scene 9
Blanch being seductive has some affect on all the men¹s lives that she meets.
Blanch is vein, untruthful, and is seductive. All three traits are negative and do not give her a good personality.