Theme Of Light In A Streetcar Named Desire

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Darkness and light have been used as symbols for thousands of years. When someone is "in the spotlight" they want to be seen. They want everyone to know everything about them. More often than not, being in that spotlight involves chasing a dream. Spotlight is often associated with celebrities or rising stars who are in the spotlight, chasing a dream. They follow wherever the light may take them to discover their dreams. It 's blinding. Blinding light can also be associated with a certain harshness to it. People avoid the harsh light in order to keep something hidden. They want to avoid their reality.The idea of light as a symbol is used by both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. While the authors use the same symbol, they are used …show more content…
When Blanche is first described, she is dressed in all white and that, "Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light" (Streetcar 15). The way her beauty is depicted is in such a way that makes you think that if she was exposed to this strong light, she would melt. She seems to be this delicate flower that would wilt under the harshness of a light. Blanche herself also seems very aware of this. When she arrives to stay at her sister Stella 's house, she wouldn 't allow Stella to look at her until she turned off the harsh light, "And turn that over-light off! Turn that off I won 't be looked at in this merciless glare!" (Streetcar 16). The way Blanche is very hyper aware of her need to stay out this harsh light alludes to the idea that she is hiding something. She doesn 't want her imperfections to show and she will do anything in order to stay out of the light. She even buys a paper lantern to go over a light bulb in order to dull its glare. "I bought this adorable little colored paper lantern at a Chinese shop on Bourbon. Put it over the light bulb! … I can 't stand a naked light bulb…" (Streetcar 55). She wants to be seen in this softer light. She wants to be seen as innocent. She wants to be pure and delicate. She stays out of the light in order to appear soft and delicate. She knows that if she goes and stands in the light, every little thing about her …show more content…
When Blanche is telling Stella about how her life has taken a turn for the worst after Stella had left their family home, she says that she is fading, "I never was hard or self-sufficient enough. When people are soft-soft people have got to shimmer and glow they 've got to put on soft colors, the colors of butterfly ' wings, and put a-paper lantern over the light … It isn 't enough to be soft. You 've got to be soft and attractive. And I-I 'm fading now l I don 't know how much longer I can turn the trick"(Streetcar 79). Blanche herself is admitting to Stella all of her insecurities. She isn 't naming the reason behind them but she is acknowledging them. She says that she is fading. She isn 't as soft or as attractive as she once was in her younger years. Even so, she still does everything she can into still appearing soft. When she meets Mitch, a love interest of hers, she still appears self conscious about the light, "Let 's leave the lights off. Shall we?" (Streetcar 87). Even though she shows some previous displeasure about keeping up with this facade, she still refuses to end it. She won 't let Mitch look at her is the light. She doesn 't want her true self to be revealed. She later does reveal the meaning behind her dislike of light when telling Mitch about her late husband, "It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow,

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