The play “A street car named Desire” by Tennessee Williams is a play that explores different characterizations in the society, by using three prime characters Stanley, Blanche, and Stella. Stanley is a person who lives in the realm of reality while Blanche seeks to live in a fantasy world. Stella is person who is deceived by Blanche’s illusions but comes back to reality when Stanley acts as a mirror and reflects all that Blanche loathes about herself.
The characters in the play hide from their reality by acting as if the events they went through didn’t happen or were not important. Norton Juster in his masterpiece “The phantom tollbooth” said “if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn’t there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That’s why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.
” Blanche chose a see something that is not there in order to hide from the present misfortune and past failures, which gave her happiness, peace and kindness than the real world. Similarly when Blanche reveals the truth about the rape, Stella chose to believe in the fantasy and discard the truth by saying “I couldn’t go on believing her story and live with Stanley” (Stella 1862). Blanche may be a person who lives in an unrealistic world. She lied and hid the truth but she never tried to hide the truth.
She always believed in the best of anyone she loves, and believe them incapable of cruelty. This can be evident as she says “Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty. ”(Blanche 1859). Blanche knows what part of her story is illusion, and Stanley sees through it all. This eventually leads to the implicating moment. Stella reacts in an interesting manner in this scene.
She says “I couldn’t go on believing her story and live with Stanley” (Stella 1862) on knowing the truth. She resolved the conflict that is going through her soul in the only way possible. As Blanche reveals the truth about the rape, Stella either has to believe her and leave Stanley or consider Blanches story as a part of her illusion. Even though Stella knows that Blanche was speaking out the reality, she followed the principles of illusion over reality in order to continue living the life she had before Blanche’s arrival.
Living in Illusions in the present day is very common. We consume a lot of lies daily. The key to happiness lies in how we show ourselves to the world. Celebrities who come from humble backgrounds are shown as proof that anyone can be adored by the world. For example the flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies, professional wrestling and sensational talk shows are promoted to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives.
However it is cultivating a self-sustaining cycle that drives the frustrated and alienated individual with even greater desperation and hunger away from reality, back towards the empty promises of those who seduce us, who tell us what we want to hear. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steady deterioration of the dollars, the climbing unemployment, the melting of the polar ice caps and the awful reality that makes us run out of money doesn’t fit into the cheerful happy talk that we maintain in our day to day life.
The worse things get, the more we beg for fantasy. Escaping the reality and living in a fantasy world will leave oneself blind to the things around us. In some cases, if we are strong enough to withhold from the fantasy and illusions around us, we may end up in the reality, like Mitch. Both Stella and Blanche found it best in their minds to live in a fantasy but if you live in it too long it can take over your reality.
Courtney from Study Moose
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