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The Role of Fantasy in A Streetcar Named Desire


            Fantasy is a world that is welcome to the minds of all because it replaces worldly pain with something more enjoyable instead. In moderation, fantasy can be a healthy part of our lives. However, if the affinity for the fantastical is taken to the extreme, reality can be forgotten altogether. In life, all individuals have certain obstacles they must overcome that cannot be faced with illusion, no matter how painful the obstacle may be. Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire shows the tensions between reality and fantasy, common sense and imagination, and between male and female. The theme of reality versus fantasy is demonstrated by the DuBois sisters throughout the duration of the play. Blanche's immense universe based off of delusion is categorized by her pedophilic relationships, attempts to revisit her youth, and her obliviousness in the direction of reality of life. Stella is also unable to cope with the fact that her sister is suffering from mental illness. Both characters use fantasies and illusions to allow themselves to make life as they want it to be rather than how it really is. .
             ┬áBlanche is portrayed as a delusional woman who creates a more preferable life by using her imagination to avoid the trials and tribulations of her physical existence. Blanche even admits that she finds living in fantasy more satisfying than living in reality. While talking to her newest lover, Mitch (long live Allan Grey), she admits that she would take the world of illusion over the world of reality as she says, "I don't want realism. I want magic! [Mitch laughs] Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it! – Don't turn the light on!" (9.43). Since Blanche has given herself the choice to choose how she wants to live whether this magic is factual or not is unimportant to her.


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