"A Streetcar Named Desire" - How does scene 10 develop the audiences understanding of Blanche and Stellas relationship?

Essay by sxc71288High School, 12th grade March 2006

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This scene of A Streetcar Named Desire effectively develops the understanding and perception that the audience have of Stella and Blanches' relationship, while using language and imagery to illustrate the tension between Blanche and Stella's husband Stanley.

"Stella is lying down in the bedroom. Her face is serene in the early morning sunlight." (Pg46) The description using stage directions presents a very picturesque scene surrounding Stella, however from previous knowledge we understand that Stella and Stanley have recently had an argument, which resulted in Stanley attacking Stella. The scene continues to be portrayed as calm and tranquil until Blanche enters the room presenting a complete contrast to Stella's actions; 'throwing herself down beside Stella in a rush of hysterical tenderness.' (Pg46) Here blanche is expressing her concern for her sister after what she witnessed the previous night, yet Stella responds to her sister by 'drawing away from her' and then going on to act as though nothing has happened and implying that Blanche is over reacting and dramatising the situation beyond its means.

After the fight with Stanley in the previous scene, the audience can assume that the couple reconciled and then proceeded to sleep together; 'he snatches the screen door and lifts her off her feet and bears her into the dark flat' so when Stella draws away from Blanche in this scene it seems as though she is possibly protecting or preserving the memories and feelings of what she experienced with Stanley. Stella seems to be under the influence of the narcotic drug of sex, and by touching Blanche she would effectively be destroying the 'after-effect'.

It is obvious to the audience throughout the play that Blanche has an exceedingly low opinion of Stanley, however it is highlighted even more so in this scene between the two women...