A Streetcar Named Desire

Scene 1

The setting for the first scene is a poor area of New Orleans, a place named Elysian Fields, which runs between the river and the train tracks; it is the name given to the Greek version of the afterlife.
A building is the central part of the scene; it contains two flats- Stella and Stanley downstairs with Steve and Eunice upstairs.
Voices can be heard, plus the music of the “Blue Piano”, which serves as a background to the dialogue. Williams’ uses music such as this a lot in the play, especially in scenes with Blanche to reflect the feelings of the characters at that moment.
In the first scene we are introduced to the central characters; Blanche, Stella and Stanley; and are able to establish their relationship with one another.
Stanley is the character first introduced to the audience ‘bellowing’ at his wife, Stella, from the street willing her to catch the meat he is about to throw. This gives the impression that he is quite a macho male and the bread winner- typical traits of a husband. His banter oozes confidence and highlights his manliness. This constructs an image of their relationship, which is illustrated further when Stella asks to go to the bowling alley with Stanley and Mitch, his best friend, -
‘Can I come watch?’
she asks, instead of asking whether she can join in. This shows a backseat role in the marriage, as it seems like he is the dominant person between the two of them, which was expected of a marriage in the 1940s.  
Shortly Blanche shows up looking for her sister, with a suitcase, scanning the building with a look of
‘shocked disbelief’, her clothes reiterate the contrast between her and the surroundings – ‘fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat.’ Her sister’s residence is obviously inferior to her tastes, expressed further through her conversation with Eunice, who also lives in the apartment. When told she is in the right town, Elysian Fields, Blanche says ‘They mustn’t have- understood- what number I wanted...’
displaying a look of dismay at being in such a place.
Once inside Stella’s apartment, as Eunice has assisted Blanche and gotten a cold reception from her due to her questions, she sits uncomfortably
‘as if she were cold.’
  At this point the audience get their first taste of Blanche’s fondness of alcohol, as she drinks half a tumbler of whiskey whilst waiting anxiously for Stella’s appearance.
This anxiety intensifies when Stella appears; Blanche begs Stella not to look at her and if so, turn the light off as so not to be stared at in a
‘merciless glare’
. Her uneasiness is explored as she asks for some liquor- even after her previous consumption, showing that she depends on alcohol in her life for reasons unknown.  She is very hysterical, which leads to a tense atmosphere between the sisters, as Blanche is quite critical of her sister’s residence.
Another figure Blanche depends on is Stella, who acts almost like the older sister- a contradiction of roles between the two. Blanche craves Stella’s company, so much so we witness her pleading –
‘I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can’t be alone.’
This desperate plea plus the drinking the audience have witnessed shows key aspects of Blanche’s character.
A factor of her personality also shown is her vain nature –
‘I want you to look at my figure.... I haven’t put on one ounce in ten years’, she states after noticing Stella’s weight gain. It seems she needs to look good and fish for compliments for reassurance- ‘...my looks are slipping’
to suggest despite her age and past setbacks she is still attractive.
Blanche is curious about Stella’s quietness who says she cannot get a word in edgeways with her sister.  This also shows that Blanche is the dominant character in this relationship; much like Stanley. Stella’s role in both relationships isn’t very active due to these domineering characters, even though they are set up at polar opposites; Blanche as a traditional Southern Belle and Stanley a representative of the changing face of America due to his Polish roots.
The audience soon learn that Blanche is a teacher, in Laurel, who was given a leave of absence due to her nerves, which suggest that she is an unstable character, something the audience were already establishing through her hysterical behaviour.
She has experienced many setbacks such as the loss of Belle Reve, their plantation, plus the reoccurring deaths in the family, which she talks about in a soliloquy using metaphors to describe death.
‘Why, the Grim Reaper had put up his tent on our doorstep!’
she says this to emphasise how death would wait for anyone and everyone within Belle Reve, suggesting it was a cursed place with death at the door. This is also a good example of imagery, as readers can imagine a tent upon the front door, with Grim Reaper residing in it.
She calls death
‘the long parade to the graveyard’
, which highlights the vast quantity of people the Grim Reaper touched. Clearly shaken by this Stella exits to the bathroom and in comes Stanley from his bowling tournament.
The stage directions state that Stanley’s life revolves around
‘pleasure with woman’ who he ‘sizes up at a glance’. This doesn’t seem a very appropriate thing to do for a married man, but it shows that he does not have old fashioned ideals but is a modern type of man. This may be due to his Polish roots, which Blanche previously made fun of to Stella. Stella knows her sister wouldn’t approve of her choice of her man and whilst showing her a picture of him in his uniform she explains she wasn’t ‘blinded by all the brass’
. Blanche sees this as a lot to adapt to, which shows that in the 1940s there weren’t many immigrants in places Blanche was from- the traditional South; therefore they were viewed in such a way that Blanche views Stanley, even before she has met him. However in a place like New Orleans blacks and whites mixing was not seen as anything different from same race relations, therefore a Polish man wouldn’t be much different.
A conversation with Blanche and Stanley ensues and it almost seems sweet but there is a hint of trepidation, as if Stanley can see through Blanche or is even sizing her up.
He notices the depletion of liquor saying
‘liquor goes fast in hot weather’ then kindly offers her a shot to which she declines saying ‘I rarely touch it.’ Stanley aptly sums up Blanche by saying ‘Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often’
. This describes Blanche’s fondness or even desire for alcohol- she may want to stop but as mentioned before she depends upon it, therefore she probably cannot, as her desire for it is too strong.
At the end of the scene, Blanche’s discomfort becomes more apparent when Stanley enquires whether she has been married. She replies
‘Yes. When I was quite young....The boy-the boy died. I’m afraid I’m-going to be sick.’ The last line of the scene truly emphasises the complexity of Blanche’s character, which we are yet to uncover.


Scene 2

This scene is pivotal in Stanley and Blanche’s relationship and an effective insight into Stanley’s aggressive nature. It is set at 6 o’clock the same day as Blanche’s arrival.
The focus at the start of the scene is that Stanley is jealous of Blanche getting his wife’s attentions more than he is. When finding out that Stella is taking Blanche to Galatories’, a restaurant, to keep out of the way during his poker night, he responds
‘What about my supper, huh?’
This shows that he relies on his wife, even in her absence, which symbolises Stella as a person who is relied upon by others; Blanche and Stanley. This is unusual seeing as she has the less dominant role in their relationship, although she is like a rock to both.
However these two characters, Stanley and Blanche, have an awkward relationship- almost love and hate at the start. Blanche’s desire is to be seen as attractive by all men, although Stanley doesn’t give in to her charms saying
‘Your looks are okay’, whilst she fishes for compliments. The fact that Stanley isn’t attracted to her is a challenge for Blanche in this scene. To be seen as attraction is her ‘little weakness’
says Stella. The audience know that this weakness isn’t little and is in fact a big weakness for Blanche, who wants to maintain her looks despite her age and indifferent nature.
          Stanley’s character develops through the use of short sentences and rhetorical questions whilst examining Blanche’s elegant garments, when she is in the bath.  These baths are extremely important to her and her wellbeing, which is revealed later on in the play.
Stanley and Stella are discussing the loss of Belle Reve, which he is very interested in, especially in regards to Blanche’s expensive looking clothes. He views it as Stella being
, which he takes offence to, as he says if she’s swindled, he is too.
Whilst rifling through Blanche suitcase he says
‘What’s these here? Fox- pieces!....Where are your fox fur-pieces, Stella?’
These are examples of exclamatory and interrogative sentences, which highlight Stanley’s aggressiveness and his desire to control others; to know all there is to know, especially about his wife’s affairs.
He wishes to implement the
‘Napoleonic code’
which means he is entitled to look at any papers regarding Belle Reve, as it states that he can dabble in his wife’s business, much to Stella’s annoyance.
What ensues is an insightful conversation with Stanley and Blanche, after she has exited the bathroom. This conversation fully emphasises the contrast between the two characters, noted by Stanley-
‘the Kowalskis and the DuBois’ have different notions’ and also seen by the variation in lexis. Blanche uses sophisticated lexis such as ‘evasions and ambiguities’ whereas Stanley’s grammar is simple- ‘I can’t do nothing with them.’
This is a possibly a factor for their turbulent relationship.

Throughout the scene, while Stanley tries to enquire about Belle Reve, Blanche responds by flirting with him; not wanting to make the conversation as serious as he wants it to be.  She says
‘My sister has married a man’- emphasis on the word man, which she says to charm him, which he nearly falls for. However he eventually tells her to ‘cut the re-bop’
- another example of their difference in lexis. He begins talk of the papers connected to Belle Reve, not believing the plantation was sacrificed but was sold to allow Blanche to buy all her fancy attire.
Stella is not present; as Blanche asked her to get her a soda- knowing the conversation was soon to turn ugly between the pair.
Stanley again begins to look through Blanche’s things, expressing his nosey and aggressive side yet again.
‘What’s them underneath?’ he asks, referring to the love letters she has kept from her dead husband upon the pile of the papers for Belle Reve.  He grabs them and attempts to look through them but Blanche snatches them away and says ‘Now that you’ve touched them I’ll burn them’, which suggests how precious they are to her, and that Stanley is somewhat of a heartless man, displayed through his lack of consideration for Blanche’s feelings.

This scene is invaluable to understanding Blanche and Stanley’s characters and getting closer to the core of their actions.
Blanche’s nerves are very temperamental, which is shown through the use of music, specifically the blue piano, which sounds when Stanley tells Blanche about the baby that Stella is expecting. Even though Stella says she’s waiting until Blanche is in a
‘quieter condition’
, Stanley still feels like he should be the one to impart that piece of information onto Blanche, showing his boisterous character and his desire to take control.
Stanley is also a very suspicious man, which he shows through the number of acquaintances he has; one who works with merchandise, in a jewellery store and a lawyer.
He is beginning to look like a villain in the play, so is Blanche to an extent through her evident flirting with her sister’s husband, which is largely down to her drinking.
‘Yes- I was flirting with your husband, Stella!’
she admits to her sister. Her admittance of this is puzzling but it’s as if Stella expects this sort of behaviour from her sister, as she doesn’t pay much attention to this revelation and doesn’t even react in a way most people would see fit.

This scene really highlights the contrasts between the Dubois sisters and Stanley.
Blanche says to Stella
‘Oh, I guess he’s not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he’s what we need to mix with our blood now that we’ve lost Belle Reve’, in other words the Dubois sisters no longer belong to the Southern elite, as they are left with little money after losing Belle Reve, therefore their only option is to mix with people such as Stanley, who lacks class. They must forget their genteel Southern roots and mix in with others- this is shown through the union of Stella and Stanley. Although Stanley will never be able to appreciate their roots, i.e. the rich scent of jasmine perfume, they will have to make do, as Stanley is an example of the rising class.

Scene 3

The men’s poker game is in full swing, even as late as 2:30am, with Stanley, Mitch, Pablo and Steve present. The dynamics of their friendship is explored fully in this scene, with Stanley as the governing body of the group. This is shown through his rude manner to his friends but they have all been drinking, therefore this type of behaviour is expected.
The stage directions describe the men as
‘as coarse and direct as the primary colours’ displayed in the room to depict the blatant testosterone fuelled atmosphere. This is expressed particularly through Stanley and his competitive nature – ‘Deal!’, ‘Shut up’
etc. He doesn’t want anyone affecting his game, but this is inevitable when Blanche and Stella arrive home.
Blanche is extremely worried to be looked at in the state she is in and this leads to a reassurance by her sister, as she asks
‘How do I look....Wait till I powder before you open the door. Do I look done in?’  Interrogative sentences are present in a lot Blanche’s speech, especially when talking to Stella, as she is viewed as the central figure for her reassurance, therefore Blanche keeps asking her questions regarding her appearance to enlist confidence in herself. Blanche wants to look good for the men.

Throughout the next part of the scene, a difference in gender is a key theme, Blanche expects the men to be courteous and stand upon her arrival, however Stanley says ‘Nobody’s going to get up so don’t be worried.’ This illustrates Stanley’s rudeness and also his sexist views, as he is not willing to get up upon a woman’s arrival.
Stanley believes poker is not for women, well Blanche mostly, as he denies her offer to ‘kibitz’- he probably believes that its man’s game and the women would spoil all the fun.
When Stella suggests
‘calling it quits after one more hand’
Stanley reacts badly and hits her across her thigh whilst the other men laugh. This symbolises the views some men have, especially in the 1940s, in regards to women; thinking they can manhandle them. This backs up the stage directions talking of the coarse and powerful nature of men.
Stanley is much the same with Mitch, maybe through his drunkenness but we get the impression he is always like this. On more than one occasion Stanley bellows at Mitch to participate in the poker game, it seems that Stanley enjoys bossing his friend around and even putting him down when he says that Mitch will put his winnings
‘in a piggy bank his mother gave him for Christmas.’
Even though we know this is just banter, it doesn’t seem appropriate; mainly because Mitch’s mum is very ill.
In a way Stanley and Blanche are quite similar – both love to drink and do so often. After some drinks they both act in a more exaggerated version of themselves; Stanley gets more aggressive whilst Blanche flirts a lot more.
Stanley uses his aggressive ways to scare people, particularly Stella. Stanley doesn’t scare Blanche however; this is displayed when she turns the radio on, much to his annoyance. He gets up and turns it off,
‘he stops short at sight of Blanche in the chair. She returns his look without flinching.’
This power of people he possesses does not affect Blanche. He uses his aggression and intimidating ways to get what he wants, although this does not work on Blanche, which is similar to her charms that we have seen do not work on him. This is a key reason as to why their relationship is less than perfect, as both personalities involve deception; almost like they both live in their own fantasy land.

A relationship that has established in this scene, which audiences assume to be more than friendly is Blanche and Mitch’s, shown through the fluidity of their conversation. It soon becomes personal when talk turns to that of who presented him his cigarette case with an inscription, quoted from a sonnet. Mitch says
‘The girl’s dead now...She knew she was dying when she gave me this. A very strange girl, very sweet-very’.
Already it seems as if Blanche and Mitch have a connection, as both have experienced the hardships of death of a loved one.
The main action in the scene is when Stanley throws the radio out of the window, after it was turned on again. Stella shouts at her husband –
‘Drunk-drunk-animal thing, you!’
This is an appropriate link to his animalistic tendencies- he is portrayed somewhat as a caveman, especially in the first scene when he hurled meat at Stella.
Stanley doesn’t take too kindly to being called names by Stella and he turns on her, charging at her until she’s in the bedroom so that he can hit her. The roles of the sisters are reversed at this point, as Blanche takes charge-
‘Lunacy, absolute lunacy...I want my sister’s clothes! We’ll go to that woman’s upstairs!’
Blanche takes control of the situation, after the men have grabbed Stanley away from his wife. Ironically it is Stella’s situation Blanche can take care of and never her own.
Mitch sums up what Stanley thinks in a less violent way by nothing twice-
‘Poker should not be played in a house with women.’ This is because of the testosterone fuelled energy, which does not coincide with that of a woman’s.

Stella is taken to Eunice’s and a little later Stanley is heard yelling ‘Stell-lahhhhh!’ almost like a primate yelling to his mate. Eunice tells him that Stella isn’t going to see him, although she appears and goes down to him- they come together with low, animal moaning; regardless of his abusing ways they still have a strong desire for each other, sexually.
Mitch isn’t surprised by this and he tries to comfort a distraught Blanche-
‘There’s nothing to be scared of. They’re crazy about each other.’
It now seems as if we have unearthed Stella’s ‘little weakness’; that is her desire for Stanley, especially sexual desire. I think this is because they come from two completely different worlds and she sees it as exciting; almost like she is rebelling against her Southern posh roots.


Scene 4

Stella’s weakness is explored further in this scene- taking a step back from Blanche and carrying on where scene 3 left off.
Stella’s weakness is Stanley and her desire to be with him, which includes a strong sexual desire that clouds her judgement regarding his abusive traits. It seems that Blanche is reacting in a way that the audience expect of Stella after such an ordeal; told by the stage directions-
‘She has spent a sleepless night and her appearance entirely contrasts with Stella’s.’ Stella appears ‘serene’ as if nothing untoward has happened and even asks Blanche what the matter is. She is oblivious to how unjustified Stanley’s treatment of her is and cannot comprehend the worry on her sister’s face. ‘You’re making much too much fuss about this’ says Stella to which Blanche realises where this euphoric mood is from- ‘Why you must have slept with him!’ Stella indicates that it is this sort of craziness she thrives upon, which shows how deluded she is but can be seen as a typical woman who likes the bad boy type, hoping one day she will be the one to help him change his ways. Blanche notices this and says ‘A man like that is someone to go out with- once- twice- three times when the devil is in you.’
This suggests the women do like to experiment from time to time, with men such as Stanley, but they are never a permanent fixture, as they cannot commit to a full fledging relationship.
Stella’s enjoyment of Stanley’s abusive ways are explored as she says
‘He smashed all the light-bulbs with the heel of my slipper! I was – sort of- thrilled by it.’ This is a large insight into her character, which implies that she somewhat encourages this type of behaviour- displayed by Stanley who wants to cement his role in the relationship. It’s almost as if Stella is living in a fantasy and cannot accept her husband as a ‘madman’ as Blanche puts it, as she screams ‘NO!’ in protest at such a thought. It appears that Stanley and Stella have been living in a bubble, which Blanche has began in infiltrate but Stella has ‘no desire to get out of (it).’ Stella accurately sums the characters up saying ‘People have got to tolerate each other’s habits’
; this has been displayed throughout the play, as Stella puts up with Blanche and Stanley’s hysterical and destructive habits. Now it seems Blanche must tolerate Stella’s deluded mind over her husband.
Blanche decides to take charge this scene by suggesting seeking refuge with a man she met on holiday in Miami- Shep Huntleigh, who is a very rich man. Blanche’s desire is to be part of this empire of his, although we know that this is all a fantasy, as the man is married, therefore would not take a woman such a Blanche into his business, as she makes it quite clear that she is looking for something more than friendship. It is unclear at this point whether this man exactly exists.
She decides to send him a telegram saying her and her sister are in a desperate situation. However when she is offered money by Stella that Stanley gave her she says
‘No, thank you- I’ll take to the streets’, which the audience know is the last thing she’d want to happen, as she’s such a proud woman, therefore her hatred of Stanley must be inconceivable. She despises having to put up with him for her sisters sake and says ‘But the only way to live with such a man is to- go to bed with him! And that’s your job- not mine.’ At this point she is belittling her sister’s choice of man, as she believes he’s only good to fulfil Stella’s sexual desires, which she backs up to a point saying ‘But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark- that sort of makes everything else seem- unimportant.’ Blanche recognises this and calls it ‘brutal desire’
suggesting that’s all there is to her sister’s relationship; which isn’t a good basis at all. Stella is rebelling against her proper upbringing in Belle Reve with Stanley who provides a clear contrast to her roots.
At that moment Stanley enters and upon hearing voices he pauses to eavesdrop without the sisters realising he’s present. Blanche begins a tirade against the ‘animal’, going into a soliloquy with each sentence beings exclamatory. Her speech sounds almost like a voiceover to a documentary on apes-
‘Stanley Kowalski- survivor of the stone age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle!... Night falls and other apes gather! There in front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking!’
This is an apt description, as in scene 1 Stanley came home with meat (dinner), which he threw at Stella. His friends are also the same; laughing at their ringleader’s abuse of his wife. Stella and Stanley’s relationship is almost animal-like, which Blanche hints at- believing he is incapable of love and that the foundation of their relationship is just brutal desire for sex.
Stanley makes his appearance after his sneaky entrance and acts oblivious to what he has just heard about how common he is. He smugly grins at Blanche and says
‘Hiyuh’ whilst ‘Stella has embraced him with both arms, fiercely, and in full view of Blanche.’ It seems Stella has made her choice and Blanche’s dismay is symbolised by the music of the ‘blue piano’, which again plays at a pivotal moment in Blanche’s affairs.

Scene 5

Blanche’s secret life is semi revealed in this scene by Stanley, who has evidently been snooping into her past; much to her dismay.
The scene starts with an argument between Eunice and Steve: overheard by Blanche and Stella. This emphasises the times and that a man taking a violent approach towards his wife isn’t as frowned upon as it is in the present day.  A
‘clatter of aluminium striking a wall is heard’ and Eunice is seen rushing around the corner shouting that she’s going to call the police. Stanley arrives and says he saw her going into the Four Deuces, which Stella replies is ‘much more practical’
. The seriousness of the argument is not being recognised by the pair, which shows the way in which they communicate. Stanley abuses his wife and others around him in his violent manner, whilst Stella thrives on the danger.
An intense conversation begins with Stanley and Blanche as he
‘throws his shoes in the corner’  and ‘Blanche winces slightly’, this shows how her fear for him has grown slightly- from the poker night where she could stare him in the eye to now where she winces at every noise. She asks what astrological sign he was born under, guessing it to be Aries because ‘Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on noise! They love to bang things around! You must have had lots of banging around in the army, and now that you’re out, you make up for it by treating inanimate objects with such fury!’  I get the impression that she’s hinting he likes to hit Stella and she is an inanimate object, as she is unable to protect herself against such force. She is trying to get across her opinion on his violent actions, thinking she has one up on him, however we see that this is not the case as Stanley (a Capricorn) asks her what sign she was born under to which she replies ‘Virgo is the virgin’, he sees this as a preposterous idea to suggest she is a virgin and responds by saying ‘Hah!’
At this point he draws his wild card and asks ‘So, do you happen to know somebody named Shaw?’, her faces expresses what she is thinking as she displays a look of ‘faint shock’ and doesn’t directly answer the question by diverting it and saying
‘Why, everybody knows somebody named Shaw!’
However this Shaw met her in Laurel- the town she has been residing in, in a hotel called Flamingo.
The audience and even Stanley know that she is involved with a man called Shaw, which she later backs up to a point when Stanley leaves. She enquires whether people have been talking about her and says
‘I never was hard or self- sufficient enough. Have got to be seductive- put on soft colours....temporary magic just in order to pay for- one night’s shelter!  ...from one leaky roof to another leaky roof...People don’t see you- men don’t- don’t even admit your existence unless they are making love to you’
. She is half heartedly admitting to have been with a fair few men in order to gain a place to stay- her time in Laurel was evidently very troubled, which led to this sketchy past of sleeping with different men. She wants to be noticed by men, which she thinks cannot be achieved unless she is intimately involved in them. Shaw is possibly one of these men.
This monologue is ignored by her sister who tells her to stop being ‘morbid’, this leads to dramatic mood swings when her sister gives her a coke, which isn’t strong enough for Blanche’s tastes who says
‘a shot never does a coke any harm!’ This carefree nature then changes as ‘Blanche suddenly clutches Stella’s free hand with a moaning sound and presses her hand to her lips. Stella is embarrassed...’
Blanche realises that her past will soon catch up to her, therefore she wants to embrace Stella, to show how much she loves her, regardless of things Stella might soon learn about her sister’s past.
The audience get an inclination of Blanche’s past when a young man comes to the door, as he is collecting for the Evening Star. Her behaviour isn’t appropriate for such an encounter, she tries to keep him at the door by asking various irrelevant questions;
‘Will you- have a drink? ...Could you give me a light? ...What time is it?.. You- uh- didn’t get wet in the shower?’ This displays how much she wants his company, this comes to a head when she says ‘Come on over like I told you! I want to kiss you- just once- softly and sweetly on your mouth. .(kiss)..Run along now. It would be nice to keep you, but I’ve got to keep my hands off children.’ She has gotten what she wants from him- a kiss so that she can feel attractive, which is a trait she strongly desires, especially to be seen attractive by young men such as this collector. Her fantasy life is also shining through, as she believes she can kiss a young man without any bother but there are obviously consequences to this, which she cannot see due to being blinded by her strong desire and drunkenness.


Scene 6

In this scene Blanche and Mitch have been on a date, which wasn’t very successful, as he says ‘I’m afraid you haven’t got much fun out of this evening, Blanche’- she blames this on herself and says no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t find it in her to be gay.
Their relationship begins to develop more as she invites him in, although Mitch is extremely nervous about such a close encounter with a woman and even asks to kiss her,
‘Can I-uh-kiss you- good night’. Many men would not ask permission to kiss their date- it seems like a conventional thing to do whilst you are on the woman’s door step bidding her goodnight. This shows that Mitch has respect for Blanche and doesn’t want to jeopardise the relationship. He thinks she shunned away from the last kiss but she knew what the kiss would lead up to and ‘It was the other little- familiarity- that I – felt obliged to- discourage...’ This links back to her conversation with Stella, where she says that she wants to gain his respect before becoming involved on a more intimate level. She says ‘I was somewhat flattered that you-desired me!’ to which he says ‘I have never known anyone like you.’
Their relationship is developing by the second, so Blanche invites him in for a ‘night-cap’.

Blanche’s life is a blur of illusion and realism- she sometimes confuses what is real with fantasy to make her life seem better and to improve a situation. After inviting Mitch in she says
‘We are going to pretend that we are sitting in a little artists’ cafe on the Left Bank in Paris’- a very romantic setting. She begins to speak French and enquires whether Mitch understands it, which he doesn’t; she asks him ‘Voulez- vous couchez avec moi ce soi’
This means will you go to bed with me tonight, which she doesn’t ask him directly, as she still is keen to gain his respect. She desires him as much as he desires her but it seems that she’s scared to really confront her feelings and act on them.
There is a change of subject, leading to tedious conversation about Mitch’s jacket, going to the gym and how much they both weigh. I think this is a way to mask their nervousness at being at close proximities to each other in a free house. Mitch’s desire for Blanche is shown when he picks her up to see how heavy she is, he says
‘You are as light as a feather’, ‘You may release me now’
she says, although he still embraces her, which shows what he wants to happen however she is avoiding this.
She says she has
‘old fashioned ideals’
, which the audience know not to be true, as in the previous scene she admitted via monologue that she seeks refuge in the arms of men. She portrays herself as a Southern Belle, and not a modern type like Stanley, but this is a fake notion and is in fact fantasy.
                     Talk turns to Stanley as Blanche asks
‘Has he talked much about me?’ Mitch defends Stanley’s actions saying ‘I don’t think he understands you’ and ‘I don’t think he hates you’.  Thinking of Stanley makes her turn to drink as ‘she makes a gesture of revulsion’, which shows her strong dislike against him. ‘He stalks through the rooms in his underwear at night’
she says, which is obviously a big deal for her, as she believes men should be gentlemen.
A somewhat ungentle men question Mitch asks is how old is Blanche, she looks nervous and diverts the question by asking why. He says
‘I talked to my mother about you and she said “How old is Blanche?” And I wasn’t able to tell her’
. This shows how serious their relationship is becoming, as Mitch even tells his terminally ill mother about Blanche- who surely has had a huge impact on his life for him to tell his mother. Blanche is unable to comprehend this, probably because she hasn’t experienced anything such as this except for the boy she loved when she was a young girl.
We learn more about the boy at the end of the scene, whilst Blanche goes into a monologue. The audience are able to understand the depths of her character and the reason for her endless drinking and temperamental nature. Whilst talking about loss; a topic both Blanche and Mitch can relate to, she begins to talk about how she lost a loved one.
‘I loved someone too, and the person I loved I lost’
she says, we can think back to the scene where Mitch showed Blanche his cigarette case, which displayed an inscription by a girl who died- who we presume he was intimately involved with.
On this level, Mitch and Blanche have gone through the same ordeal but then we begin to learn more of Blanche’s love, as she says
‘When I was sixteen, I made the discovery- love. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been in shadow. But I was unlucky. Deluded. There was something different about the boy, a nervousness, a softness and tenderness which wasn’t like a man’s...He came to me for help. I didn’t know that....I’d failed him in some mysterious way...I didn’t know anything except I loved him unendurably but without being able to help him or help myself. Then I found out. In the worst of possible ways. By coming into a room I thought was empty- which wasn’t empty, but had two people in it...’ The boy she was very much in love with was homosexual, which we understand through the nervousness, softness and tenderness he displayed- not like a man’s but that of a woman’s. She had failed him because he probably felt trapped and that he shouldn’t be gay so he thought marrying a woman would change this and that he would miraculously become straight, however this was not the case.  Blanche finally found out about this when she caught him with a man. She pretended as if nothing has happened, but she replays a painful memory and says ‘Suddenly in the middle of the dance the boy I had married broke away from me and ran out of the casino. A few moments later- a shot....Then I heard voices say- Allan! Allan! The Grey boy! He’d stuck the revolver in his mouth, and fired- so that the back of his head had been- blown away....It was because- on the dance-floor- unable to stop myself- I’d suddenly said “I know. I know! You disgust me...” And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that’s stronger than this- kitchen- candle....’
 The man she had loved so much killed himself, unable to face the fact that he was gay and soon everyone would know. Blanche says the light that had once brightened up her life after discovering the strong feeling of love had gone out, and no other light came as strong.
Blanche’s syntax is varied, as she uses some short sentences such as
‘Deluded’ and ‘Then I found out’
, which shows her exasperation, as she is clearly disturbed by this memory. All her sentences are declarative sentences, telling a story to Mitch, in a quick pace I assume, through the use of both short and complex sentences containing many clauses when she is trying to get the story out.
Blanche lost her husband twice that night- once to another man and then to death. This has traumatised her for years, and we now understand why she lives in this fantasy world- there is nothing left for her she feels, so she must dream up happy scenes in her life to replace the devastating ones.
Mitch is clearly overcome with sympathy as he says
‘You need somebody. And I need somebody too. Could it be-you and me, Blanche?’ Both are so lonely and share a poignant moment, as he pulls her towards him in an embrace. ‘He kisses her forehead and her eyes and finally her lips. The Polka music fades out. Her breath is drawn and released in long, grateful sobs’ as she says ‘Sometimes- there’s God- so quickly’
. The fact the Blanche confided in Mitch is a big deal for her, who can never admit the truth- not even to Stella. They both need someone in their lonely lives and it seems they are a perfect match, as they have been through tormenting pasts.
The music is ever present to represent the mood of the dialogue. It became louder as Blanche was retelling her story and slowly got quieter, as Mitch and Blanche embraced. It seems like a weight has been lifted off Blanche- confiding in someone and also finding, possibly, love again gives her hope that maybe the light that once shone in her life may shine brightly again.

Scene 7

Stella is decorating ready for Blanche’s birthday gathering, who is yet again in the bath to calm her nerves. Learning of this, Stanley pokes fun out of her endless baths and mimics Blanche, as he says “Washing out a few things?” and “Soaking in the hot tub?”  Stella begins to explain how Stanley has grown up in different circumstances to her and her sister, which he cannot comprehend and is sick of hearing, although he believes that Blanche is as common as he is. He proves this by revealing to his wife the secrets he has dug up about her supposedly whiter than white sister.
Lie one he says is that Blanche is known around Laurel, including by his acquaintance Shaw, he says that she is so famous in Laurel it is almost like she is the President of the United States,
‘only she is not respected by any party’
, which has somewhat of a double meaning as we know he also means she is not respected by anybody at all. We learn that after taking residence in Flamingo, after the sacrifice of Belle Reve, she had to be asked to leave, due to her inappropriate behaviour that didn’t coincide with the establishment. This second class hotel, who would tolerate a great deal of unusual social activities, could not even deal with sheltering Blanche. 
There were many stories of her exploits with men, who couldn’t handle her after two or three dates, and she began to be regarded by all as
‘downright loco-nuts’
. He goes on to say even soldiers were banned from her place, which shows that no one could handle her and her transparent act, therefore she had no other option but to get away.
Stella cannot understand or believe any of what she is hearing and asks not to hear anymore for fear of worst to come. Stanley then drops the bombshell; lie number two- she didn’t resign temporarily from her duties as a school teacher in Laurel, she was kicked out Stanley explains.
‘They kicked her out of that high school before the spring term ended- and I hate to tell you the reason that step was taken! A seventeen-year- old boy- she’d gotten herself messed up with’ he exclaims. Stella is truly sickened by this and blames her experiences as a young girl – marrying a homosexual whom she ‘worshipped the ground he walked on’
. She’s distressed by this but it seems like Stanley doesn’t particularly have any sympathy for Blanche, as he wants to reveal her sordid past- something she tries to cleanse via the amount of baths she takes. However Stanley objection to these baths shows an objection to Blanche hiding her past. The bath is seen as a metaphor for a cleansing process. Blanche sees it as though she is almost restarting her system, which is a fantasy that she lives by day in and day out.
There is a change of subject in regards to Blanche’s party, when Stanley asks who is expected, when he learns that Mitch is supposed to be one of the guests he looks uncomfortable and declares that he will not be coming, as Stanley has told him the truth about Blanche as he didn’t want his best friend ‘caught’. He is referring to the tangled web Blanche has weaved throughout her life- built up on tragedy and the fantasies she surrounds herself with. Stanley believes Mitch is too good for Blanche and that he should stay away, as it would only lead to heartache.  Stella objects to Stanley meddling and admits that Blanche thought Mitch was going to marry her, even she thought so too.  
Stanley proclaims that Mitch wouldn’t jumped into
‘a tank with a school of sharks’
, which is a metaphor to describe getting into any kind of relationship with Blanche- something you should avoid at all costs, for fear of getting hurt.
Stanley then reveals to his wife that he has brought Blanche a birthday present- a one way bus ticket back to Laurel for the following Tuesday. This shows his possessive nature and his desire to control those around him, as he has even planned Blanche’s departure and the path Mitch and Blanche’s relationship has taken.
‘Her future is mapped out for her’
, he says, which shows that he is the one who has mapped it out.
At this point Stanley desperately needs the bathroom and uses derogatory terms to summon Blanche out-
‘canary bird! TOOTS!’
this shows his character completely, as he feels that he can call woman these sorts of terms, which shows no respect for the female sex. Even so Blanche emerges in high spirits but once she sees his face a frightened look appears on her own. She detects the hostility in the room and the obvious distraction on Stella’s face. She asks what’s wrong but Stella lies and says nothing has happened. Blanche doubts her all the more.

There are obvious contrasts between both Stanley and Blanche- a fact that she revels in at any given opportunity. She sees herself as a Southern Belle with Stanley as an industrial immigrant of a lower class. I think this rather annoys Stanley, who catches on to the fact that Blanche isn’t what she seems; therefore he begins to unravel her past and discovers that this traditional lass is in fact of a poor mental state. He flaunts this in her sister’s face, showing no sympathy at all as he cruelly jibes at Stella saying that Blanche is not only flighty but is mentally unsound.

Whilst Blanche is in the bath she sings the lyrics of “It’s Only a Paper Moon”- a 1940’s ballad, which is reflecting her situation with Mitch as she sings, “It’s a Barnum and Bailey world/ Just as phoney as it can be/ But it wouldn’t be make –believe/ If you believed in me.” This shows how much she hopes for a future between her and Mitch, which is what Stella also told Stanley. She hopes this the facade she puts on will not be seen through and that she can make this illusion (that she’s of sane health) a reality. This is hopeful, which is in contrast to the tense atmosphere outside the door, as Stanley has ruined all chances of this happiness that Blanche strongly desires. The song foreshadows that Mitch will fall out of love with Blanche as soon as her fantasy act is discovered- something the audience know is about to happen.


Scene 8

Three quarters of an hour after the last scene and there is a solemn atmosphere at the table; where one place, reserved for Mitch, is left empty. Blanche’s act is still there as she puts on an ‘artificial smile’ but we know she must be deeply upset by his absence. She tries to lighten the mood by asking Stanley to tell one of his stories, however he says they aren’t ‘refined enough for your taste’, therefore Blanche begins to tell a poor joke about a preacher and a swearing parrot, which Stanley is less than impressed with. Stanley doesn’t even pay attention to her; instead he pays more attention to the chop in the middle of the table. Stella notices his blatant ignorance and says ‘Mr. Kowalski is too busy making a pig of himself to think of anything else! Your face and your fingers are disgustingly greasy. Go and wash up and then help me clear the table.’ Stanley’s aggression once again reveals itself as he slams his plate on the floor and shouts that he is sick of being called derogatory words by her and her sister, such as ‘Pig- Polack- disgusting-vulgar- greasy’, he says they act like queens when they are not. He says ‘Huey Long said- “Every Man is a King!” And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it’. He is a hypocrite, as he believes he can call women, especially Blanche any name he can such as ‘canary bird’ but when any words are used against him he doesn’t take it too kindly.  “Every Man is a King” is somewhat of a motto for Stanley, who has adopted this attitude in the play.
He slams his cup and saucer to the floor to join the remains of his plate and proclaims that his plate is cleared. He leaves the table to stand outside to smoke a cigarette.
Blanche again notices the hostility and asks what happened whilst she was bathing to which Stella says
‘Nothing, nothing, nothing!’
Blanche’s nerves cannot take this and she decides to call Mitch to enquire why he has not turned up, which Stella thinks is a very bad idea, as she doesn’t want her sister to know the truth. Blanche continues but there is no answer so she leaves a message.
All the while Stella has gone out to join Stanley, who
‘grunts and turns away from her’
, this shows that he is in fact like a pig, no matter how much he protests to this fact. He wants to be seen as superior to both sisters and it infuriates him that he is somewhat inferior. He still embraces his wife and reassures her that all will be well when Blanche leaves and the baby comes, and also when they are able to have sex again, which is possibly missing in their relationship due to Blanche’s presence.
We get the impression that this may also be the reason behind his desire to get Blanche to leave, as he has a strong sexual desire for his wife, which cannot be fulfilled whilst her sister is living with them.
A little later both return to the living room and a conversation ensues between Stanley and Blanche, which is still very awkward. Blanche explains that she cannot be taken for granted by a man such as Mitch; this obviously annoys Stanley who comments on the lingering steam from the bathroom. This infuriates Blanche, for the first time in the whole play, as she shouts
‘I’ve said I was sorry three times.’ The piano fades out to emphasise her anger, as she begins a tirade explaining that being a Polack he doesn’t need to take baths, as he is without nerves so he doesn’t know what anxiety feels like. Stanley angrily rebuttals this and says Polish people are called Poles not Polacks and the he is ‘one hundred per cent. American’
A phone interrupts proceedings, which Blanche begins to run to assuming it will be for her; however Stanley intercepts her and answers it. It is one of his friends from bowling. Stella obviously feeling sympathetic towards her sister touches her shoulder, which Blanche detests as she doesn’t want her pitying look, as if to say the final nail in the coffin has been placed in her and Mitch’s relationship. Hearing the commotion Stanley shouts
, which reflects his view on how his house needs to revolve around him or else.
On finishing on the phone Stanley declares that he has a present for Blanche, which she is delighted about; probably thinking the hatchet can be buried. He presents her with a one way ticket to Laurel on the Greyhound for Tuesday.
The Varsouviana music plays again resembling Blanche’s surprise at receiving such a gift. She tries to shield her disappointment but her efforts fail as she
‘springs from the table and runs into the next room.’
She is gagging as she cannot breathe, which shows the depth of Stanley’s cruelty, which is something that Blanche does not deserve. Stanley is unfazed by this and begins to get ready to go bowling with his friends.
Stella strongly objects to Stanley actions and makes this clear, as she grabs his shirt willing him to stay. This shows her independence; stronger than ever in the play. However Stanley brings her back to earth as he tells her he is
‘common as dirt’, a fact she knew when they got married. He pulled her from the columns, her pedestal, of Belle Reve and they enjoyed being common together, but now her sister has appeared it seems like the insults keep on coming about how common he is. Stanley has a point; they have become so detached from each other since Blanche has been with them, although they still have a connection in the form of the baby soon to be born- which at that moment is rearing its head, as Stella goes into labour. On noticing something wrong with Stella, Stanley cuts his tirade short, whilst his wife whispers softly to be taken to hospital. They begin to leave and the Varsouviana is heard, rising at a sinister pace as Blanche appears from the bathroom door.

Strains in Stella and Stanley’s relationship are evident in this piece; it seems that he has a furious sexual desire for his wife, which has been manifested from his want of control. This has begun due to his lack of status/class compared to the sisters, which he resents so he treats Blanche cruelly not realising how weak she is. He expresses a certain ownership of Blanche also, to show that regardless of class or status he is able to take control and be a strong character.

Scene 9

Blanche is sitting tensely on a bedroom chair next to a bottle of liquor, which we assume she is contemplating drinking. The stage directions inform us that the “Varsouviana” is playing, although it states that it is in Blanche’s mind; a reason why she drinks- to escape the sense of disaster that is closing in on her.
At that moment Mitch comes around the corner looking visibly anxious, in his work clothes and bearing an unshaven face. He is visiting Blanche and she is startled to discover he is at the door- the polka tune stops to show that this occurrence has brought her back to earth.
‘rushes around frantically’ hiding any evidence of her drinking and the disaster evident on her face. She explains that she shouldn’t let him in after the treatment she had received from him during her birthday- ‘so utterly uncavalier! But hello, beautiful!’
she says. She clearly wants him to know that his absence at her birthday upset her but she doesn’t want him to continue to be at a distance and invites him in.
Blanche offers Mitch her lips, which he declines and
‘stalks into the bedroom’; she notices the hostility in his manner and exclaims
‘what a cold shoulder! And a face like a thundercloud! And such uncouth apparel! Why, you haven’t even shaved! The unforgivable insult to a lady! But I forgive you.’
She believes that she is the one to do the forgiving, however this is untrue as she is the one who has lied to Mitch. Her exclamatory sentences are simple to suggest how she cannot understand how he has appearing to her in such a state but she forgives him she says quickly- possibly through fear of losing him through her rambling.
Clearly not listening, Mitch asks her to turn the fan off, she does and begins to looks for alcohol saying she hasn’t ‘investigated’, which is a false statement as she has liquor by her side before he appeared. She wants it to seem as if she is a woman who does not drink and has control of her nerves- which is untrue. Mitch declines saying he doesn’t want any of Stan’s liquor, she explains that she has some also. She again senses his unfriendliness and enquires about his mother, thinking this is the reason for his behaviour. He doesn’t take too kindly to this sudden interest in his mother so she changes the subject.
The polka music begins again, which we find out is the music that was playing when Blanche’s husband, Allan, killed himself. This is still all in Blanche’s mind, as she keeps on replaying this memory, as her demise is linked to this incident- everything bad that has happened to her or anything she has done has been due to this. The music stops after the revolver sounds and Blanche is relieved at this, telling Mitch it always stops after that. He displays no sympathy for her mental state and asks
‘Are you boxed out of your mind?’
  This is a very inappropriate question to ask her, which she doesn’t reply to, instead continues pretending to look for the bottle of alcohol she had previously hidden.
She tells him to excuse her poor attire, as she says she had practically given Mitch up after he didn’t appear at her birthday supper, he explains that he wasn’t going to see her anymore. It seems that Blanche is choosing to ignore this and goes on looking for the bottle- she finds it and sees its Southern Comfort, which she pretends doesn’t know of to mask the fact she had been drinking it.
Mitch declines the liquor again and says Blanche ought to lay off it too, as Stanley told him she’d been
‘lapping it up all summer like a wild-cat.’
This is another insensitive thing for Mitch to say- who is normally a gentleman, which emphasises the hurt he must have felt after finding out the woman he was in love with had continually lied to him.
Talk then turns to the fact that Mitch has never seen Blanche before 6 o’clock, and when he eventually sees her it is in a dim light. We know this is because Blanche is extremely self conscious of her age and doesn’t want Mitch to see her and possibly even through her; to her despair.
‘I’ve never had a real good look at you’
, Mitch explains, which is true for most people who Blanche keeps at arm’s length for fear of them finding out about her past.
Mitch takes the lantern off the light, saying he wants to see Blanche
‘good and plain’; she ‘utters a frightened cry at his action’
. He calls this being realistic- seeing her as she really is but this type of realism is strongly opposed by Blanche who explains she wants ‘magic’. This is an apt motto for most of her life, as it’s almost like she lives in a fantasy- one which no one can penetrate. She cannot bear to be seen by anyone and doesn’t want to face up to her realism and would rather live with magic.
Mitch turns the light on,
‘she cries and covers her face’, he turns the light off and clarifies that he doesn’t mind her being older- a fact he probably figured out in scene six when she diverted the conversation of her age. He tells her it’s her pitch about her old fashioned ideals that he loathes calling himself ‘fool enough to believe (her) to be straight.’
Blanche tries to deny these charges but he persists saying he has heard truths about her from many a source; Stanley, Shaw and a merchant of Laurel called Kiefabar who he talked on the phone to. Blanche argues that these three men are lying and that Kiefabar concocted these stories due to Blanche rejecting his affection. 
                                  Blanche is extremely upset at this point and drowns her sorrow in another drink. She admits that her past in Laurel is less than perfect and that she had intimacies with strangers after her husband’s death to try and fill her
‘empty heart’, which was only filled with panic. She finally admits to her affair with a seventeen-year-old boy, which she regards with ‘convulsive, sobbing laughter’. She explains that was when she decided to come to New Orleans and that she changed when Mitch entered her life. She calls him a ‘cleft in the rock of the world’ and a ‘poor man’s paradise’
; he was clearly the one to inject the light back into her life, which is soon to be turned off by his rejection.
Mitch still cannot get over the fact that Blanche continually lied to him.

A blind Mexican woman comes round the corner selling bunches of tin flowers to display at funerals saying, in Spanish, “Flowers. Flowers for the dead.”  The polka sound fades in yet again to symbolise Blanche’s distress when she sees where the sound is coming from.
At hearing this sound, she opens the door but is terrified to see the woman. The flowers are very symbolic at this moment of death, especially the dying relationship between Blanche and Mitch- something that Blanche is trying hard to revive.
This terrified Blanche begins a soliloquy talking of regrets, legacies and
‘blood-stained pillows’; things that probably remind her of death, particularly the death of those in Belle Reve. It seems she is recalling a conversation with her dying mother about paying a servant, and that at that moment death was not far away from her. She says the opposite of death is desire and then begins to explain how there was a camp near Belle Reve, where young soldiers lived. At night they got drunk and would go onto her lawn and call her, and she’d meet them.

 The polka music fades as Mitch embraces Blanche, in a confused manner she asks him what he wants, he replies ‘What I been missing all summer’; he is referring to sex, which Blanche has tried to hold out on for fear he wouldn’t respect her after and would therefore leave her. It seems now that is all that is left- his desire for sex and not even his desire for Blanche’s love. This is what these lies have done to their relationship.
Blanche tells him he must marry her first- showing she still has a strong desire for him- not just as a lover but as a husband. He cruelly rejects her and says
‘You’re not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother.’ This is very insulting for Blanche to hear and she orders him to leave. He just stares at her, which infuriates her further. She shouts ‘Get out of her quick before I start screaming fire!’ he stands there still not fazed by her protests. She runs to the window and shouts
Mitch is surprised at this show of anger and gasps, beginning to run outside and down the street.
At seeing him leave
‘Blanche staggers back from the window and falls to her knees. The distant piano is slow and blue’. The piano represents their relationship, which has sadly ended, due to Stanley’s meddling ways.

Both characters in this scene react differently to the ending of their relationship.
Mitch regards it with an air of acceptance; he’s even willing to have sex with her to fulfil what he’s been waiting for all summer; uncaring about her feelings.
Blanche doesn’t want this and rather he love her, instead of reject her love for sex. The desire he once felt has been changed into a sexual desire.
Stanley is the instigator in this play- he chose to take matters into his own hands and tell his friend about Blanche, even though it had nothing to do with him. He is the key reason for Blanche’s downfall, although she is still to blame, as it is her who slept with numerous men. Blanche has become another victim to Stanley’s ways. Now something she craves so much- marriage, is not going to happen due to Stanley deciding her fate.


Scene 10

The relationship between Stanley and Blanche comes to its climax in this scene.
It begins with Blanche in her finest attire, pretending to be talking to a group of her admirers. She is clearly drunk and has been so since Mitch left her. She continues talking at her dressing table; she lifts the hand mirror for closer inspection of her made up self. She
‘slams the mirror face down with such violence that the glass cracks’
, this displays her utter disgust at her appearance so much so that she cannot bear to look at herself any longer; ashamed of the person staring back.
Stanley appears, also drunk, in high spirits. On seeing Blanche he gives a low whistle, she asks about Stella and the baby who isn’t expected till morning, therefore Stanley has come home for some sleep. This means that they are the only ones present in the house.
Stanley finally asks the reason for Blanche’s posh apparel, to which she replies she has received an invitation from an old admirer, Shep Huntleigh, requesting her company on a cruise of the Caribbean. Stanley seems unusually happy for Blanche even commenting on her
‘gorgeous-diamond- tiara’
, which may also be a form of patronising. However his happiness for her persists, as their conversation seems somewhat light hearted.
He begins to undress; Blanche requests the curtains to be closed, thinking it inappropriate to witness such a scene. He stops and asks for a bottle opener to toast to their good fortunes. These high spirits continue even further when he produces silk pyjamas, which he wore on his and Stella’s wedding night, deciding to wear them tonight, as it is a special occasion.
Blanche begins talking about Mr. Huntleigh saying that what he wants is a
‘cultivated woman, a woman of intelligence and breeding...I have those things to offer’, this is an act she is yet again putting on. She says she has much to offer a man, although she has been foolish ‘casting (her) pearls before swine!’
Stanley’s mood changes at this instant, as Blanche refers to him and Mitch as swine.
She changes the story telling Stanley that she gave Mitch his marching orders but he came back with a box of roses begging for her forgiveness. Stanley asks whether this was before or after the telegram and her lies spew out, as she asks him what telegram he is referring to.  He tells her he knows she is a fraud, and there isn’t a
‘goddam thing but imagination!’
He has seen right through her and unravelled her lies; her life is based around fantasy and her overactive imagination, where she blocks out the realism that is just too painful.
Stanley tears Blanche down further, leading up to the ultimate climax in the play; he asks her to look at herself in the mirror, at her uniform- it is a uniform because it is not real. It displays the person she wants to be but not the person she is. He tells her he has been onto her from the start and even says
‘Not once did you pull any wool over this boy’s eyes!’
He views himself very highly, which may be a factor in why he wouldn’t let a woman such as Blanche take him for a ride.
Blanche is in the bedroom; Stanley advances much to her dismay. Shapes are evident on the wall around Blanche, to show Stanley’s intimidating nature. He is almost like a predator hunting his prey. We know that their relationship is about to come to its climax and so does Blanche as she rushes to the phone to ring an operator to request the number for Mr. Huntleigh.
Outside a prostitute is being pursued by a drunkard, as she drops her bag; the Negro Woman sees this and rummages through it looking for any possessions. This reflects the bad there is in the world- the realistic part. There are prostitutes, drunkards, thieves and even rapists- truths that Blanche would never clearly acknowledge.
Stanley appears in his silk pyjamas, and grins at Blanche who is still very distressed by his behaviour. He tells her she left the phone off the hook- possibly for people to hear her cries of distress but he has put the phone back.
The blue piano is heard, it begins louder and louder resembling Blanche’s heartbeat as Stanley stands over her; imposing.
Blanche requests to get by him; he moves a space back although not enough for her. He knows this and toys with her saying she has plenty of room. She doesn’t want any interference to which he says
‘You think I’ll interfere with you? Ha-ha!’
the blue piano goes softly to suggest that maybe he won’t stand in her way and she might be able to get past him.
However his next move says otherwise as he bites his tongue, which is protruding between his lips and says
‘Come to think of it- maybe you wouldn’t be bad to – interfere with...’
In other words he is saying she wouldn’t be a bad person to have sex with- a sudden change of heart, which comes from his desire to show people, especially Blanche and Stella, who is boss.
Blanche backs away through fear and smashes a bottle on the table; bearing its broken top and threatening to twist it in his face. He ignores this saying she wants some
, which we know means rough sex, as he is about to rape her- this is obvious through the sexual gesture he just made.
He advances toward her, she springs at him with the bottle but he grabs her wrist. He calls her a
‘tiger’, but he is most like a tiger; hunting Blanche, who is now an ‘inanimate object’ much like her sister- unable to fight off Stanley. ‘We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!’
he says to show that this was inevitable; they were both at each other’s throats each day so this is the climax. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
She falls to the floor and he picks her up, taking her to the bedroom.  Pulsing sound from the Four Deuces is audible, which indicates that Stanley has raped Blanche.

Williams’ does not describe the rape, as it was an inevitable act, therefore the audience do not need to see it. Everything in this scene leads up to this, especially Stanley tearing down Blanche and her perfect fantasy. 
Something like this was bound to happen between the pair, as they detested each other so much that their relationship couldn’t just end with Blanche leaving. Stanley has exposed Blanche throughout the play, unravelling her secrets to all; ashamed that he has been viewed in a bad light with Blanche around, even though Blanche is as bad as him. Her old south roots are a contradiction to her behaviour.
She is now at her most vulnerable and it is now that he decides to take advantage of her. He wants to take control of this situation- sick of Blanche and her fantasies. It’s like he sees this as a game, one which he has now won.


Scene 11

It is some weeks after the rape and Stella is crying whilst packing Blanche’s things, who is in the bath again. There is a poker game going on with Stanley, Steve, Pablo and Mitch; the atmosphere is similar to that of the disastrous poker night- ‘raw’ and ‘lurid’.
Eunice enters and mutterings are heard from the poker game. Pablo calls Stanley lucky for his wins; Stanley displays his increased confidence and says
‘To hold front position in this rat- race you’ve got to believe you are lucky.’
  He is boasting about the confidence he has possessed in himself- a confidence that can be little those around him. Mitch mutters something under his breath at his friend’s blatant arrogance.
Eunice can detect the atmosphere and calls the men
with no feelings, acting like pigs. She enters the bathroom and sees Stella packing, who asks how her baby is doing. Eunice replies she is sleeping then asks about Blanche; referring to a baby and Blanche in the same conversation is almost appropriate, as Blanche isn’t an independent person at all, she relies on other people much like a baby. Both are extremely vulnerable.
We learn that Blanche is bathing, ready for her rest in the country says Stella. This bathing is the most important of all the baths Blanche has taken throughout the play. The previous baths she has taken were almost like a way to restart her system in order to go on. However this bath it seems is a way to wipe away traces of Stanley and his cruelty.
Blanche believes that the rest in the country is actually Shep Huntleigh coming to rescue her from New Orleans.
She peeps through the bathroom door and tells Stella to take down the number of anyone who may call her and tell them she will call them back later. We know that no one is going to call her, as she is alone in this world. All the family and friends she has is Stella; her sole dependent.
She also tells her to get ready her yellow silk and accessories for when she gets out of the bath.
She returns to the bathroom, Stella then begins to air her doubts over whether she did the right thing saying she couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley. Eunice replies to this
‘Don’t ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you’ve got to keep going.’
She is expressing the fact that Stella needs to persevere through this in order to survive; which she will not do if she is without a man. In the 1940’s a woman needed to be by a man’s side in order to survive- this was the view of many, as it seemed like marriage and the like were the only things women could depend on. This may be why Blanche received pitying looks by many; the Young Male collector and the Mexican flower woman, as she does not fulfil the old South convention so it is inevitable that she will be destroyed at the hands of men.
Blanche appears once more, as the Varsouviana rises to symbolise her temperamental nerves and to reflect the waiting for any bad reactions she may have to see the poker game is in full swing.
She asks whether she has received any calls from Shep, which she obviously hasn’t, although she calls this strange. At the sound of her voice, Mitch stops playing and daydreams; knowing now that she isn’t well at all, he might be feeling almost sympathy for her. Noticing his distraction Stanley slaps him on the shoulder and tells him to come to. At the sound of Stanley’s voice, Blanche reacts much the same as Mitch-
‘she makes a shocked gesture, forming his name with her lips’
; Stanley has scarred her beyond repair and to have him on the other side of the curtain is something Blanche cannot fathom. She stands still for many minutes longer, unable to believe he is there. She asks what’s going on, but is met by looks from Stella and Eunice. Her hysteria continues and the women tell her to hush and try to change the subject telling her how well she is looking and talk of her impending trip.
Blanche is offered a grape by Eunice, and asks whether they have been washed-Eunice replies
‘They’re from the French market’
, Blanche says that doesn’t mean they have been washed, whilst the bells chime. Blanche calls them the only clean thing in the quarter, which is an insult to all those around her, she now believes she is too good for the area and declares she is leaving. Not wanting her to leave the women try to stop her by saying she should wait until the poker game has finished to pass- this is playing on her nerves, as she knows she must pass Mitch and Stanley.
She begins to go into a different world; a fantasy world saying she will soon we swept up into the sea, and will then die by the side of a nice looking ship doctor after eating an unwashed grape. She is not talking sense anymore and it seems she has gotten worse via obsessing over the cleanliness of a grape.

It seems appropriate that a Doctor and a Matron should appear around the corner, seeking out the house at that moment. Everything about them says institution and there is an air of ‘cynical detachment’. They ring the doorbell and Eunice whispers to Stella it must be them, she goes to see and returns telling Blanche it is someone for her. An excited Blanche cannot contain herself, thinking it must be Shep. The Varsouviana music is heard again, faintly, to express how Blanche is about to walk into a trap. On hearing there’s a lady at the door also she appears nervous and frets about going through the room where the men are sitting. Stella explains that she will accompany her; therefore Blanche leaves and moves fearfully across the room. It is interesting to see how much Blanche has changed. During the previous poker game, Blanche aimed to please and wanted to be seen by these men but now she doesn’t want any of the men to look at her. This is what Stanley has done to her; Blanche almost thrived on the company of men and now she cannot bear to be present amongst them.
As she passes, the men get up except Mitch who looks at the table; possibly because he is ashamed. He rejected Blanche and now she is like this, I think a part of him knows that Stanley has raped Blanche and he cannot look at her for fear of confirmation of this.
Blanche reaches the door and sees the Doctor, she gasps realising what has just happened whilst the Varsouviana is still playing. She retreats back into the apartment, but Stanley pushes his chair and blocks her way, the Matron follows. Blanche yells she has forgotten something and runs into the bedroom, where
‘lurid reflections appear on the walls in odd, sinuous shapes.’
This is reminiscent of the night that Blanche was raped and suggests that now she is being hunted again but by the Matron this time.
Stanley wants to instigate this situation and says
‘Doc, you better go in’, he then tries to find anything Blanche may have left behind; realising the only thing left would be the lantern on the light, he tears it off. Blanche cries out, ‘as if the lantern was herself’
. It seems Stanley is keen on destroying Blanche in any way he can, he knows that the lantern is something Blanche insists on to hide her age from the imposing light. It’s like he wants to expose her to everyone but he’s the one who needs to be exposed to reveal his cruel self.
Stella, who cannot witness this any longer, runs out to the porch to get away from it all. Eunice follows, trying to comfort her. Stella cannot believe that she has gone through with this and says
‘What have I done to my sister? Oh, god, what have I done to my sister?’
this confirms that, yet again, Stanley has been in control of the situation and was most definitely the person who suggested getting Blanche locked up in an institution. Eunice reassures Stella that she has done the right thing.
               Blanche is still not coming out and Stanley tells the Doctor he should go in, Mitch knowing that Blanche is off no harm, regardless of what his friends and Stanley says shouts
‘You! You done this, all o’ your God damn interfering with things you-’. Mitch has now realised what his friend is really like, who tells him to quit the blubber. Mitch tries to strike Stanley but is pushed away, at that moment the Matron also advances on Blanche who ‘turns wildly and scratches at the Matron’
The Doctor realises it is his time to intervene and takes of his hat to become ‘personalized’- this reveals a lot about the appearance of the pair, who must appear to be very domineering and scary to Blanche.
The Doctor approaches Blanche and she extends her hand towards him, thinking he is one of her saviours. She says
‘Whoever you are- I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’,
this is ironic, as the Doctor isn’t the heroic Shep Huntleigh type that Blanche perceives him to be and also because we know that Blanche has always depended on strangers; men particularly, which is the main reason why she has had such a troubled life. She is not independent but relies on others, who will most likely neglect her.
Blanche leaves with the Doctor whilst her name is called by Stella- she doesn’t look back at her sister. I think this is because she knows her sister doubts her story of the rape and allowing her sister to look at her face in these moments will only confirm what Stella doubts in Stanley.
Stanley goes out to the porch to comfort Stella and says
‘Now, honey. Now, love. Now, now, love’
his fingers find the opening of her blouse whilst comforting her. This shows that still all he thinks about is himself and fulfilling his sexual desires. He’s not thinking about his wife’s feeling, who is clearly distressed about her sister. He’d rather not acknowledge the fact that Blanche has left and just go on as normal.
The last line is said by Steve who says
‘This game is seven- card stud’, this symbolises the deception that has gone on in the Kowalski’s household and also that the game in the household can always change, especially due to Stanley and his aggressive ways.