Appearance vs Reality in A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay by realmadridfan123High School, 11th gradeA-, January 2013

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Appearance vs Reality in A Streetcar Named Desire

David G. Myers, a psychologist, once said that " there is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values." In the play "A streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams there is a recurring theme of appearance against reality. This is mostly noticed in the three main characters' roles. Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski and Stanley Kowalski all have an appearance at the beginning of the play that by the end is majestically obscured by Tennessee Williams.

Blanche Dubois is arguably the character in "A Streetcar Named Desire" with the most oscillation between appearance and reality. Blanche is hopelessly lost in the past and this greatly influences her actions in the present. At the beginning of the play, Blanche appears as the innocent, loving young girl that she once was, but as the play goes on we get more and more hints that ultimately lead to the realization that Blanche is an insecure alcoholic who was fired from her job because of child molestation and then went on to be a prostitute.

Referring back to the quote in the first paragraph, Blanche is so blinded by the spectacles of her past that she doesn't realize what is going on in the present. She wants Mitch to be the perfect husband from her fantasies, who will care for her for the rest of her life, but she doesn't realize that this will never happen. "I'll tell you what I want, magic, yes, yes magic". This quote clearly reflects how Blanche wants to live in a world of fiction where all her problems go away, but she doesn't realize that this is an impossible solution to her problems. A large factor that contributes into this...