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The significance of deceit in 'A Streetcar named Desire'

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on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of The significance of deceit in 'A Streetcar named Desire'

The significance of
deceit
in 'A Streetcar named Desire'
Blanche
she lies to avoid telling people the real reasons for why she is unstable and where she ends up. they include
the amount of alcohol she drinks "I rarely touch it.
(she rushes, hiding the bottle in a closet)
"
her age/ appearance "I call her little in spite of the fact she's somewhat older than I" "I like the dark/ I cant stand a naked light-bulb"
why she stays with Stella in Elysian Fields "sister Blanche is no lily" "practickly a town ordinance against her"

Blanche justifies her deceit by saying "I dont want realism...
I'll tell you what i want. Magic! ...
I dont tell the truth. I tell what ought to be truth"

however there are times in the play where Blanche's honesty is punished instead of rewarded for it.
finding out her husband's gay - the love of her life kills himself
telling Stella she was raped - taken away to an institute
which characters lie to protect themselves?
Stanley
he is seen as a brute and common. So to improve his status in the apartment, Stanley lies in certain ways e.g.
implies he did rape Blanche but got away with it
"I believed I was lucky"
his possible well connected position in the town "I have a lawyer acquaintance who will study these out"
knowing what Blanche said about him "
stands unseen...overhears the conversation...grins at Blanche
"

another way he keeps his status is, in contrast, tells the truth to Stella about why her sister is there and what she's done "Lie number one... ha some lily she is!...lie number two... they had her on the hook good and proper that time"

overall Stanley just uses whatever means to hold power in a domestic situation whether that be to lie or to be honest
however Stella only lies to protect others which is completely different to Stanley and Blanche.

Stella lies to her sister about her looks only to please her.

and only to protect her baby, Stella ignores the truth of Stanley attacking Blanche which means she's lying to herself. "
also you could say that there are other characters that lack deceit like Mitch.

he is very open with Blanche; shows her the engraved cigarette holder and tells her about his mother's illness.

so when Blanche lies to him, we can see this is a huge contrast in personalities and that they are not a good match.
this theme of deceit can also be linked to the idea American Dream and that it could too be seen as a lie.

Stanley is very patriotic and believes in the USA but this is something that people pretended as so to make their lives seem better (thought that in the end, they would have the perfect life) which is something Williams hints at the end when Eunice says "life has to go on. no matter what happens, you've got to keep going"
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