Illusions in a Streetcar Named Desire

1317 words 6 pages
Illusions in A Streetcar Named Desire

In Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire, there are many

examples where the characters are using illusions in an attempt to escape


The best example is found by looking to the main character.

Blanche Dubois was a troubled woman who throughout the play lives her life

in illusions. The story begins with Blanche going to New Orleans to stay

with her sister Stella, and her husband Stanley for a while. Here, the

illusions are revealed and the battle between the illusions and the

characters will begin. What initially leads to her illusions is love.

When she was young, "sixteen, I made the discovery - love. All at once and

much, much too completely" (1368).
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Even after saying, "I

want to go away," (1349), when Blanche tries to convince her that staying

with Stanley is the wrong thing to do, Stella keeps changing the subject

and making excuses for Stanley's craziness - "you and Eunice had

breakfast?" (1353), "He's taking the radio to get fixed" (1353).

Finally, and ironically, Blanche says, "pull yourself together and

face the facts" (1353) and tells Stella to get out while she can. But the

illusion that what her and Stanley have is pure love is too strong. In

Stanley's case however, I think that he honestly believes it. It isn't

just an illusion to him, it is his reality. Also, a major illusion that

Stella had is shown in the statement in the final scene, Scene 11, where

Stella tells Eunice, " I couldn't believe her story and go on living with

Stanley," who replies, "Don't ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No

matter what happens, you've got to keep going." (1388). Here it almost

seems as though Stella is realising what is reality and what is not and she

knows that she shouldn't know.

So, it is true that some people feel and believe that it is

necessary to create illusions. They may do it for many different reasons,

such as in "A Streetcar Named Desire." They may want to hide something

like Allan and Blanche did, try to impress someone, also as


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