Blanche's Desire

 "Desire" is an element which the author emphasized very much in this play. Blanche,  the most important role, showed us her strong desire toward men and sex completely in the play. She flirted with almost every man she met, for example, she flirted with Stanley, Mitch and the newspaper boy, and picked out men from street to make love with. She always pretended a noble and young lady to catch men's eyes. Like a prostitute, she waited for men and sex every day. Although such behaviors let people look down on her and dislike her, it was not exactly her own fault. She was a victim of environment actually. She was the posterity of a sinking southern noble family. Originally, she lived in Belle Reve, "a place great place with white column," with her family, however, all people around her died one by one, and Belle Reve was taken away by others. She was lonely and lacking in security very much. She needed to find someone to accompany her, and men were the best choice for her, because they could protect her. Besides, making love with them would let her forget the cruel reality  temporarily. Therefore, environment was the major reason to form her strong desire toward men and sex.

 Her desire toward men and sex made her loose her job. There was no more other place she could go but Stella's. She wanted to stay in this last place so she had to marry someone. Mitch was more suitable for her than other men there, for Mitch showed his respect to her and seemed to be very polite and have good temper. This made him closer to her. She could not accept a rude man to be her husband because of her background of a noble family. Finding men to accompany her, to make love with her was one thing; marrying a man was another. She might be able to accept all men to spend a night with her, but she won't keep such an attitude toward her marriage. Therefore, if she wanted to marry a man there, Mitch indeed was the better choice. Although it was not clear whether she really loved Mitch or just wanted to use Mitch to fulfill her desire of settling down in the place, the later one seemed to be more possible.

         Blanche's desire toward men and sex also made her feel guilty about herself. She was a well-educated person, and from her childhood, she was taught to be a lady. She knew very clearly that her behavior of finding men and her desire toward sex was not right but she could not stop. Therefore, she always liked to take a bath. It was a symbolic action--- to wash out her sense of guilt. She felt so good and rested after taking a bath (P.105 & P.37) In the play, she always wears white dress, white gloves, hat, pearl necklace and earrings (p. 15), and it showed that she wanted herself to be an innocent, purify lady without any stain. However, her stain and her sense of guilt were never washed out, just as the stain on her white skirt would stay forever (P.80) She hoped herself was a perfect person, but she could never be by what she had done.

 Reality was something so terrible for Blanche that she could not face and accept. The reality that her husband and family were dead, and she lost Belle Reve, her job and youth was too miserable to think of. That was why she was afraid of light and always asked Stella to turn off the over-light (P.19) and even asked Mitch to help her put paper lantern over the light bulb (P.55). Light was the symbol of reality. Standing under light would make her be seen very clearly by others, and they would find that she was not young already. The fact that she was not young any more also let herself think of death. She watched her husband and her family died one by one, so death was the most terrible thing for her to face. The Mexican street vender selling flowers (P119) was the symbol of death, reminding Blanche of the funerals in Belle Reve.

 Every time she thought of her young husband who was already dead, the music of the polka would rise up (P.31, 84, 96,113,119). In fact, the music was the one played in the night when she danced with her husband and then he committed suicide. The polka kept in her mind and became a symbol of her miserable experience with her husband.

 Through out the play, Blanche is quite miserable and sympathetic. She didn't fulfill her dream of settling down in the place. Worst of all, she was raped by Stanley and sent to asylum at last. Blanche's words, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers"(P.142, 61) was completely proved in the end when she was taken away by the doctor. She was just like a moth which could not fly cross the fire and had a miserable ending.