Tragic ending of the play Essay
Tragic ending of the play
This is one of the most truthful things that Blanche has said in the entire play, which allows the audience to conclude that not only is she starting to get hysterical with fear and hurt, but also that the full truth is about to be revealed. The light has been made clear in order to prepare her soul to be exposed to all; all that is left to do is to turn the light on. Mitch seems to be saddened by the fact that this will destroy her, but sees it as unavoidable and prepares to continue in his illuminating mission regardless.
Blanche finally admits why she turned to prostitution, at the moment when the tension of revelations is approaching its peak. ‘BLANCHE: I’ll tell you what I want. Magic! [… ] I tell what ought to be truth. [… ] Don’t turn the light on! ‘ The way she calls it magic implies that there is no other way she can experience anything else quite so other-worldly, quite so amazing and intimate. This speech is one of her final sane speeches in which she reveals another side to her character.
The italicisation of the word ‘ought’ shows that she thinks she has done no wrong, and thus, although there can be no redemption for her, she does not need to be exposed to the light of truth. The light terrifies her, and she cannot even bear the thought of letting herself be shown bare underneath it, since it can strip away all the lies. Mitch accidentally encourages her with this earlier, when he puts the paper lantern upon the light. BLANCHE: I can’t stand a naked light bulb… Mitch then has to destroy this illusion, making it more effective because again, it concludes something that was begun earlier.
She becomes increasingly hysterical throughout this speech, and seems to defend herself to more people than just Mitch, as if she is defending herself to an ethereal being. In the final sentence, she reaches a bitter end when all is revealed, despite her previous objections. As a whole, it gives the previous scenes more of a context as to the reasons for her being in disgrace, and lets the audience foresee a terrible future for Blanche. This passage from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ uses plot devices and dramatic elements to make the scene more effective, and more useful to the play.
Symbolism gives this section a supernatural quality, when the lines between reality and illusion start to blur, and the characters struggle to define the lines for themselves. It allows the audience to make an informed decision on how they judge each character to be, but at the same time does not state how they should view it, but rather several options are provided. In the end, this scene can be seen as a turning point in that it leads directly towards to the tragic ending of the play.