Blanche Dubois -- How Hardship Affected Her -How did a character respond to hardship in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

Essay by ReeseyHigh School, 12th gradeA-, March 2004

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Doctor Wayne W. Dyer, a popular self-empowerment author claims, "The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind." Blanche Dubois the protagonist in A Streetcar Named Desire is a perfect example of this quotation. Her life was full of tragedy and hardship. She dealt with these hardships in a destructive and negative manner, thus, causing her more hardship and tragedy. In the end, this vicious cycle eventually cost Blanche her sanity. Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams develops the idea that Blanche is incapable of coping with hardship properly. Blanche lies, engages in numerous sexual relationships, drinks and bathes to escape and soothe her pain. Blanche's methods are ineffective and temporary ways to cope with pain.

Blanche's bathing habits occur passim in A Streetcar Named Desire. These bathing rituals are parallel to her hardships that she explains and endures throughout the play.

This motif is used to put emphasis on Blanche's desire to cleanse herself from her numerous sexual encounters and troubles. Although Blanche claims, these bathing habits calm her nerves; the root of her bathing runs deeper than merely relaxing. She uses this bathing ritual to shed her illicit past to renew herself mentally and emotionally. Yet, as she cannot erase the past; her bathing is never done.

In addition to Blanche's excessive bathing habits, she also indulges in drinking to cope with her issues. She uses alcohol in an unhealthy manner [often antisocial and secret]; this misuse helps her withdraw from the reality of her life. In the beginning of the play when Blanche arrives at Elysian Fields; she is so stressed out from her trip and the loss of Belle Reve she is drinking like a fish. First, Blanche drinks in secret before Stella arrives and again when...