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Symbolism of Blanche's Clothing in A Streetcar Named Desire

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Nytalia Udetallah

on 5 December 2014

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Transcript of Symbolism of Blanche's Clothing in A Streetcar Named Desire

Symbolism of Blanche's Clothing in
A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche laughs shrilly and grabs the glass, but her hand shakes so it almost slips from her grasp. Stella pours the coke into the glass. It foams over and spills. Blanche gives a piercing cry
." (Williams 170).
"She has a tragic radiance
in her red satin robe following
the sculptural lines of her body" (Williams 218).
Loss of Innocence/ Wounded
"Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers" (Williams 204-205).
Blanche's Cling to Innocence
"Blanche feels that she must trick and deceive in order to survive in a world where she is "fading now!" and her looks are leaving her"("The Character of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire" 1).
Use of White - Beginning
“She is... dressed in a
white suit with a fluffy bodice,
necklace and earrings of pearl,
white gloves and hat, looking as
if she were arriving at a summer
tea or cocktail party in the garden district" (Williams 117).
Review Questions
Works Cited
"Stella: Heavens!
Blanche: Right on my pretty white skirt!" (Williams 170).
Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Signet Books,
1947. Print.

"The Character of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire."
123HelpMe.com. 30 Nov 2014.

"A Streetcar Names Desire: Character Profile - Blanche."
mrhoyesibwebsite.com. 1 Dec 2014.
1. What does the color white symbolize in the play?

2. What is one tragedy that happens to Blanche?

3. What is symbolic about Blanche's last outfit in the play?
"Blanche: Whoever you are -- I have always depended on the kindness of strangers...
Blanche and the Doctor cross the kitchen to the front door. She allows him to lead her as if she were blind.
"I'm not accustomed to having more than one drink" (Williams 149).

"I -- I don't know why Stella wants to observe my birthday! I'd much rather forget it -- when you-- reach twenty-seven!" (Williams 197)

"Those cathedral bells -- they're the only clean thing in the Quarter" (Williams 219).

Blanche DuBois is a dynamic and deeply profound character. She is constantly concerned with her appearance, and, coincidentally, her clothes throughout the play symbolize different aspects of her life. Her clothing tells the story of her constant need to be seen as pure, and also her downfall from innocence.
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