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Blanche Streetcar Named Desire Essay

1164 words - 5 pages

In this part of the play how does Williams begin to establish Blanche as a tragic heroine?

Elements of a tragic heroine are being portrayed by Williams in scenes 1 and 2. He shows the characteristics of a tragic heroine and expresses them through Blanche. According to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy a tragic hero/heroine is one that has a fatal flaw and someone that once had a high status and has come crashing down. Williams shows her fatal flaw(s) such as men/desire, alcohol and her past. He also shows how she has gone from a high status, wealthy woman with an extravagant lifestyle to someone that has lost everything and has fallen as low as possible and has moved in with her sister to ...view middle of the document...

‘The loss-the loss’. Here is where William reveals to the audience for the first time that Blanche had lost Belle Reve. This shows the audience how Blanche has lost her livelihood. Something that brought her high status has been lost and Williams portrays Blanche here to fit the characteristics of a tragic hero.
It soon becomes clear that she has lost control over her life since leaving her hometown of Laurel. Within Streetcar, Blanche’s life is evidence of how a single, tragic event can ruin someone’s future and cause their downfall. In Blanche’s case, this tragic event is her deterioration into not being able to cope with real life situations and failure to remove herself from the fantasy world she has created for herself. A tragic flaw is the error of a tragic hero that will in most cases lead to the hero’s defeat.
The other flaw that exists in the play is Blanche’s addiction to alcohol. As soon as Blanche gets into Stella’s home she looks for the alcohol. ‘While I look around for liquor’. Here Williams shows how Blanche has got into a state in which she depends upon alcohol to quite a large extent. This is a result of her flaws and it indicates to the audience what an unstable state she is in. ‘Where could it be I wonder? Oh, I spy, I spy! This other flaw that Blanche has emphasises her state at this moment in time. Williams uses the flaw of alcohol to indicate what stage Blanche is at where goes from high status, to an all time low. This is the deterioration stage and it is almost clear to the audience now that it is inevitable that Blanche will soon hit an all time low.
Furthermore, Williams shows Blanche as a tragic hero in this part of the play by showing her alienation to her surroundings. Blanche has come from Laurel, a high class and wealthy area, to New Orleans, a lower class society and the complete opposite of Laurel. For example, when going into Stella’s house Blanche is shocked to see that there are only 2 rooms where Stella lives. ‘What? Two rooms, did you say?’ This adds to the idea that Blanche has lost everything and is in a society in which she doesn’t...

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