Perception of Reality in "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Essay by macookCollege, UndergraduateB-, November 2014

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Cook 4

McKenna Cook

Principles of Literature

TH 12:30-1:50

24 September, 2014

Perceptions of Reality

In A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, one of the main characters, Blanche DuBois has the desire that everyone feels at one point or another, to be "young forever". Her desire to achieve this impossible goal is shown throughout the play, and effects a lot of people around her. Blanche tries to board the "desire" streetcar, her fate interferes and shows her reality as she boards the "death" streetcar. Although Blanche has desires to achieve whatever she wants, her relationship with reality is unstable and this leads her to the mental collapse at the end of this play.

Reality is the opinionated state of things as they really exist, rather than as they may appear or be imagined. Throughout the play, Blanche struggles with her perception of reality, and lets her extreme desire get in the way.

Blanche seems to act accordingly to her perception of reality, which differs from most of the people around her, including her sister Stella, which hurts her in the end. Blanche has this whole idea of being young forever, and that if she does certain things like hide in dark places of the room that it will preserve her innocence. Stella, unlike Blanche, has a different problem with reality. Instead of having extremes desires like Blanche, she lives in the moment, and thinks very simple. Her husband Stanley is a very aggressive, physical man who has a hot temper which leads to many feuds between the two. Instead of coming to reality, Stella ignores all signs of abuse, adultery, and disrespect that Stanley displays, while continuing to tell everyone that she loves him no matter what. Stella's heard many times that she should leave Stanley and that...