In this lesson, I want to spend some time examining symbols in the play. He is upset that she lied to him, and she claims that she never lied in her heart. GradeSaver, 11 August 2008 Web. That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! In his disappointment with the truth about Blanche, he doesn't realize that she could give herself to a stranger but not freely to someone whom she knew as well as she knows Mitch and certainly not under such crude circumstances. She offers him a drink, but he declines saying that he doesn't want liquor.
Like Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams wanted to challenge some of the conventions of naturalistic theatre. On a physical level, Blanche avoids light to prevent others from seeing the reality of her fading beauty. Mitch still seems to have feelings for Blanche—both sexual and emotional. She asks who it is, and when he gruffly replies, the polka music stops. Mitch turns out the light and says, bitterly, that he doesn't mind her being older than he thought but he can't abide with the truth of her spotted past. Blanche is frightened but continues in her light and airy mode, scolding him for his disheveled appearance and forgiving him in the same breath. Everything important is at the end.
It is a harsh act, and Blanche stumbles from it as if struck. Third, being forced into the light here symbolizes the revelation of the truth about Blanche's past life. Because Blanche has put on a façade in front of Mitch she is now under pressure to keep it up. The play cemented William's reputation as one of the greatest American playwrights, winning him a New York's Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize. The polka music begins again, and she is agitated. However, regardless of the motivation for lies, it is clear that the fantasy world Blanche has tried to create has been destroyed by the harsh realities of the world that she actually finds herself in.
The appearance of death from the beginning of the play suggests that it is inescapable for Blanche, possibly reflecting the fact that the class and value system she seems to represent is decaying. Mitch has always been depicted as different from the rest of the men, gentlemanly almost. Her magic has flown away, and she is left only with hated realism. The polka continues until some event in the real world distracts her or until a gunshot goes off in her memory. She speaks about pillowcases stained with blood, and seems to be recalling a conversation she had with her mother about not having enough money to pay a servant. There was nowhere else I could go. You're not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother.
She prefers the darkness as a shield to her true age. Blanche's mask is forced off and the truth is out although this pushes her deeper into delusion. Mitch is having none of it, though — he now knows that she is wearing a mask, and he wants to see what's underneath. He rips the paper lantern off the bulb and says he wants to be realistic here. Blanche yells at Mitch, insisting that he leave before she screams fire.
In this section, I want to wrap up this lesson on symbolism by asking students to take two symbols found in the scene and describe how they contribute to the demise of Blanche's mental state. Stanley's the only one of his crowd that's likely to get anywhere. Blanche rushes to the door, where the woman meets her and asks if she wants to buy any flowers. I was common as dirt. Blanche says that the music always stops when she hears a gunshot.
Mitch, she says, was the first man who gave her hope. She tells him that some of the liquor is hers and that not everything in the house belongs to Stan. But my young husband was. Lawrence, who offered Williams a depiction of sexuality as a potent force of life; Lawrence is alluded to in The Glass Menagerie as one of the writers favored by Tom. I can't hear what you're saying and you talk so little that when you do say something, I don't want to miss a single syllable of it. When she has exhausted her story of death and despair, Mitch cannot begin to process what he just heard. Mitch Mitch is introduced, unshaven and dressed in his dirty work clothes when he dropped by unannounced.
It is a tense and emotional scene. Summer and Smoke 1948 , Camino Real 1953 , and The Glass Menagerie 1944 , among others, provided some of the early testing ground for Williams' innovations. . He was as good as a lamb when I came back and he's really very, very ashamed of himself. The dark also perpetuates her illusionary life and the difficult time Blanche has grasping reality.
Blanche is relieved; it always stops after the gunshot, she says. She lost Stella and Stanley in the previous scene, and now Mitch, her last audience member, has stopped watching. On stage, these effects powerfully evoke the terror and isolation of madness. Then we will discuss as a class! Streetcar hit theaters in 1946. When Blanche hears the vendor, she thinks of all the deaths she has had to suffer, and that the opposite of death is desire. Blanche orders him to leave, rapidly collapsing into hysterics. Attracted to Stanley's friend Mitch Karl Malden , she glosses over the less savory incidents in her past, but she soon discovers that she cannot outrun that past, and the stage is set for her final, brutal confrontation with her brother-in-law.
As Blanche becomes divorced from reality, so too does the play itself become more figurative and stagey, wearing its theatrical conventions on its sleeve. Join 2,320 other followers Goodreads. Yes, that's what it is, a liqueur! As the audience, we get to hear it, too. This power point presentation is beautifully illustrated and very engaging for the students. And wasn't we happy together, wasn't it all okay till she showed here? I guess it's just that I have - old-fashioned ideals! Thus it is not the actual rape which causes her madness, but the idea that she was raped by a man who represents everything unacceptable to her.