-A Streetcar Named Desire-

Blanche Dubois

Blanche is the older sister of Stella and the complicated protagonist of the play; she is thought to be around thirty years old. When Stella left Mississippi to go to New Orleans she stayed in Laurel, Mississippi. 

She is a faded Southern belle with no money, after generations of mismanagement led to the loss of the family fortune, ending with her losing the DuBois seat at Belle Reve. This experience, along with the suicide of her young homosexual husband Allan Grey, ruined Blanche’s emotions, and her sense of reality.

 She loses her position as a schoolteacher for having sexual relations with a student which is revealed later in the play. This is seen again as she kisses the young collector who is getting the money for the newspaper. She also is rumoured to resort to selling herself at one point and then is forced to depend on the kindness of her one living relation, her sister Stella.

 Blanche tries to continue being the Southern belle of her youth, but after losing her innocence and aging, her grip on reality begins to slip. She has difficulty understanding the passion in her sister’s marriage. She is coolly calculating in her relationship with Mitch as she hides her past from him, only for Stanley to uncover it and tell Mitch. Stanley also destroys what is left of Blanche by raping her and then having her committed to an insane asylum.


‘She springs up and crosses to it, and removes a whiskey bottle. She pours a half tumbler of whiskey and tosses it down. She carefully replaces the bottle and washes out the tumbler at the sink.’ – First stage directions of Blanche in the Kowalski home

‘Not the type that goes for jasmine perfume’

‘I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can’t be alone! Because—as you must have noticed—I’m—not very well . . .’

‘I thought you would never come back to this horrible place! What am I saying? I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to be nice about it and say—Oh, what a convenient location and such—Ha-a-ha!’

‘Incongruous to the setting’ – Description of Blanche

‘I let the place go? Where were you! In bed with your – Polack!’

‘I’m afraid he does have me mixed up with this “other party.’ The Hotel Flamingo is not the sort of establishment I would dare to be seen in.’

‘The rapid feverish polka tune, the “Varsouviana,” is heard. The music is in her mind; she is drinking to escape’ – Descriptions by Williams of why Blanche drinks

‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’

[She rushes about frantically, hiding the bottle in a closet, crouching at the mirror and dabbing her face with cologne and powder.] – Blanche stage directions by Williams showing her attempt to hide her age and drinking

‘I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action’

‘Well, I never cared for wishy-washy people’

‘Open your pretty mouth and talk while I look around for some liquor! I know you must have some liquor on the place! Where could it be, I wonder?’

‘I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it’

‘Intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with’

‘Never inside, I didn’t lie in my heart’

‘I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman’s charm is fifty per cent illusion, but when a thing is important, I tell the truth: I haven’t cheated my sister or you or anyone else as long as I have lived.’

‘I guess it is just that I have – old-fashioned ideals!’

‘Oh, in my youth I excited some admiration. But look at me now! [She smiles at him radiantly] Would you think it possible that I was once considered to be—attractive?’

‘And funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths – not always’

‘And turn that over-light off! Turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare!’

‘Blanche moves back into the streak of light. She raises her arms and stretches, as she moves indolently back to the chair’ – Blanche Stage Directions

‘Her appearance is incongruous to the setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district’ – Blanche stage directions

‘I don’t want realism. I want magic!’

‘I don’t know how much longer I can turn the trick. It isn’t enough to be soft. You’ve got to be soft and attractive. And I-I’m fading now!’

‘No, one’s my limit’

‘We thrashed it out. I feel a bit shaky, but I think I handled it nicely, I laughed and treated it all as a joke. I called him a little boy and laughed and flirted. Yes, I was flirting with your husband!’

‘What you are talking about is brutal desire-just-Desire!’

‘There’s so much-so much confusion in this world’

‘I want Mitch… very badly! Just think! If it happens! I can leave here and not be anyone’s problem’

‘Blanche waltzes to the music with romantic gestures. Mitch is delighted and moves in awkward imitation like a dancing bear’ – Blanche descriptions and stage directions

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