"Whoever you are - I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
In so saying, does Blanche invest harsh, degrading reality with romantic dignity? How does Tennessee Williams wish us to see Blanche?.
Williams" character, Blanche Du Bois, is the protagonist in the play, "A Street Car Named Desire." She is an exaggerated character, and much like the majority of his main characters is "larger than life." Blanche is introduced to us as the quintessential "Southern Belle," but as the play progresses it is clear that Blanche Du Bois" undignified reality is degrading in the extreme. If there is one thing to be admired of Blanche Du Bois, it is her ability to retain her dignity even at her lowest point. When, at the end of the play, she is lead away to an asylum, she assertively takes the arm of the doctor and declares, "Who ever you are -I've always depended on the kindness of strangers.".
Blanche's problems begin when her marriage at the tender age of only sixteen ends in the tragic suicide of her husband, Allan Grey. She was betrayed by her homosexual husband and yet felt she was the one who had "failed" and betrayed him. In dealing with these issues Blanche turns to alcohol and becomes promiscuous, having many "intimacies with strangers" in order to "fill her empty heart." (Blanche Sc9) .
Adding to Blanche's distress is the loss of Belle Reve, the family home and dealing with the deaths of many family members, all of which she had to cope with on her own. Blanche is driven to the brink of madness. "I stayed at Belle Reve and tried to hold it together I took the blows" (Blanche sc 1) .
On her arrival at her sister's place in New Orleans, Blanche is faced with yet another difficulty. She is faced with accusations from Stanley concerning Belle Reve when he insists on seeing the legal papers. Blanches deals with this situation as she has dealt with problems in the past. She uses her sexuality and flirts with him in order to distract him and make light of the circumstances.