A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 11 Analysis

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Why is the beginning of scene eleven of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" significant?

The beginning of scene eleven is one of the most significant passages in Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire". In the aftermath of Blanche's rape, the audience is unsure what repercussions Blanche and Stanley may face and how the other characters will respond. In his final portrayal of Blanche, Williams creates sympathy for his fallen heroine and explores some of the play's key themes, examining his society and the problems it faces.

In this passage, Williams explores one of his key concerns in the play - truth and lies. This scene sees Blanche's lie about Shep Huntleigh, part of the fiction she wove to explain her past, turned against her to force out of the Kowalskis' home, as she is persuaded to leave because "she's got it [her removal to the asylum] mixed in her mind with Shep Huntleigh." Lies have previously served as Blanche's method of self defence, but in the wake of Stanley's victory, they aid her downfall. It is not only Blanche's lies that feature, but Stella's - as Stella tells Stanley to "say something nice about her appearance" in scene two to ease Blanche's stay, so
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The link between the two is initially shown by Blanche's journey in the streetcars "desire" and "cemeteries," and in this passage is evidenced by her dream of dying with "some nice looking ship's doctor, a very young one" showing that she links her death with sexual desire. It is desire which has brought about her spiritual death in the loss of her sanity, with her mental confusion plainly evident from the music of the "varsouviana", yet in spite of the pain it has brought her, Williams shows that desire is still her final concern. This makes the passage highly significant, as it indicates that Blanche's sexual obsession is so strong that even the trauma of rape cannot rid her of

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