======================================================================= Blanche ======================================================================= In Blanche pathological sensitivity, preference for past and tradition, puritan fanaticism of purity itself and the unrestrained greed of life unite to a unit of contradiction.
Blanche pretents to be a strong woman who always fights to fulfill her rights and pleasures, but deep inside her heart she seems to be very weak and sensitive.
Blanche tries to change her surrounding to match her, instead of adapting to them. This will not work with Stanley.
Her main problem is, that she does not want to accept any compromises in her life. She only wants to live in one world, in her very own.
She also does not realize, that this world is just some kind of expiring model and she is possibly the only person alive, who represents this world. As long as she does not want to fit into these new conditions and convulsively sticks to her old world, her future surely is about to be wrecked.
Blanche comes out of the "sterility" of Belle Reve into Elysian Fields, which is full of "fertility" and this "sterility" also has a deep impact on Blanche, who seems to come from a prudish household. That is also one reason, why she is not really able to join a normal sexual relationship.
On the one hand she presents herself as a virtuous and prudish lady but on the other hand she appears as some kind of a nymphomaniac.
For Blanche Elysian Fields is a jungle, in which wild animals like Stanley live and she, a "butterfly in a jungle" could also exist in any other world, but not in this world around Elysian Fields.
======================================================================= Stanley ======================================================================= Stanley seems to be at the best time of his life and just wants to experience all, he is able to get. Marked by his animal cynicism he stands directly in front of reality und does not want to miss anything in life, because he is conscious, every day propably could be his last.
Stanley wants to live and wants to enjoy the life in all means.
His big passions are eating, smoking, bowling, drinking beer and having sex and his whole life seems to be built up by these attitudes.
Stanley personifies the negative characteristics of the modern industrial age. He is not interested in aesthetics, he is inconsiderate, self- satisfied and overestimates himself excessively. Although he is some kind of agressive and could easily be irritated, he proves as a loyal friend and husband.
In the way he plays cards, his attitude of life becomes obvious: there are only winners and losers.
Even if Stanley is not the most intelligent person, noone should be forced to interpret his behaviour and his whole character as being evil in any way. Stanley is unhappy about himself. Thus it should not be amazing, if he tries to free his cynicism. Even as someone like Blanche tries to lead his life, he propably could not hold his agressions under control and let go of his anger.
======================================================================= Relationship ======================================================================= In my opinion, Blanche is responsible in a big part for the tense relationship between her and Stanley, because she tries to provoke him again and again.
zitat:75 On the one hand Blanche perhaps wants to make her brother-in-law some kind of compliments with such remarks, which he legitimated interprets as provocations. Perhaps she tries to express her admiration towards Stanley by doing so. On the other hand however she maybe viciously wants to make him angry, because she evidently enjoys playing with him, like with an animal.
I think she feels attracted and repulsed by him at the same time.
Using such quotations the contrast between Blanche and Stanley becomes very obvious. Blanches illusion is the survival of beauty and innocence and Stanley believes in the constancy of human nature.
Stanley seems to be one of the biggest and most convinced members of reality and in contrast to Blanche his mind is not gifted by dreams in any way, but just, like mentioned above, believes in given facts.
For Blanche there are just two things to overcome her sorrow: alcohol and sex. Thereby she only is able to enjoy the alcohol secretly, because everthing else would contradict her conservative and traditional attitudes.
At her attempts to seperate Stella from Stanley to "reconquer" her sister, her longings of re-establishing the past, become evident again. In addition Blanche tries to hide her own weakness by pretented strength. So Blanche sees herself as protector of her sister and Stanley begins to understand her as any kind of aggressor and accepts the challenge.
Seen in general, the conflict between Blanche and Stanley deals with a fight and dualism between contrary principles, views, lifestyles and periods of time.
Their relationship could possibly be described as a poker game, as Tennessee Williams thaught about calling the play "The poker game". In the first four scenes of the play, Blanche tries to cheat and tricks everyone into believing that she is a woman of country-girl manners and high moral integrity.
After Stanley asks her to "lay her cards on the table", but she continues her bluff, Stanley goes on a quest for the truth and finally discovers and reveals her true past.
Once he knows her true "cards" he then has the upper hand in their struggle.