A Street Car Named Desire Essay

1396 words - 6 pages

Too often people would rather hide a problem and pretend it does not exist rather than take responsibility and deal with it. In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire the Kowalskis see Blanche Dubois as a problem and have her sent to an insane asylum. It is true that Blanche had many issues but the reason behind her incarceration was not to benefit her mental state but to project someone else’s dirty secret. While others may justify the actions of Blanche’s sister and brother-in-law, they are weaker than Blanche for refusing to deal with reality. Take a look into the life of Blanche Dubois and it will be evident that an insane asylum was the wrong place for her. From the loss of her loved ones and childhood home, to her career as a prostitute, and ending with her rape, there is no denying that Blanche Dubois just needed love and support from her family.
Tragic events have a huge effect on a person’s metal state and Blanche Dubois’ life was full of tragedy. She had gone through a painful life at a young age; starting with the unforeseen affair that her husband had with another man and his suicide immediately after it was revealed. Loss is already tough to deal with but suicide the widow is left with feelings of stigma and guilt. (mentalhealth.about.com, Univ. of Michigan) While still grieving the death of her husband, Blanche lost a majority of her family and their residence. She was left to deal with death and destruction on her own. The emotional effect of suicide mixed with immense grief can overpower a person making them turn to alcohol to cope with the pain. Alcohol is a depressant the can control one’s thoughts and actions; the more you consume the greater anxiety and depression you feel. According to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the best way to help someone is to give unconditional love and support and offer reassurance and hope for the future. That just goes to show that family can really make a difference.
In a Streetcar Named Desire there are hints to Blanche’s depression and anxiety. First, when she tells Stella how Belle Reve was “lost”. “I, I, I took the blows in my face and my body! All of those deaths! The long parade to the graveyard!... Funerals are quiet, but deaths--not always. Sometimes their breathing is hoarse, and sometimes it rattles, and sometimes they even cry out to you, "Don't let me go!" Even the old, sometimes, say, "Don't let me go." As if you were able to stop them! But funerals are quiet, with pretty flowers…How in hell do you think all that sickness and dying was paid for? Death is expensive…Why, the Grim Reaper had put up his tent on our doorstep!... Stella. Belle Reve was his headquarters! Honey--that's how it slipped through my fingers!…Sit there and stare at me, thinking I let the place go! I let the place go? Where were you! In bed with your--Polack!” (Williams, Scene 1, pg 19) Blanche was deserted by the only living relative left and forced to deal with the financial burdens...

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