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Drama

The Use of Deception in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

A Streetcar Named Desire is a world-famous play that was created by Tennessee Williams in the year 1947. Some of us know this film as a black-and-white work of art, while others have not even heard of this play before. Williams discusses many themes throughout the play, such as “magic” when the main character Blanche prefers taking the “magical” side of an issue instead of rationalism. Also, pride is a major theme when it comes to Stanley, the boyfriend of the main character’s sister, and he feels that he is in charge of each issue. Despite all of the other themes described in the text, I feel that there is one idea that plays a more significant role throughout this writing, and that is deception. I believe that the idea of deception is the main theme throughout A Streetcar Named Desire and is shown multiple times throughout the play when concerning Blanche’s true age, her feeling of needing to escape her past, and Stanley’s concealing of what he truly did to Blanche near the end of the film.

First off, Blanche is a very self conscious individual, especially when it comes to her true age. She eventually meets Mitch, a friend of Stanley’s from work, who is younger than her. Blanche does not want her date Mitch to know her true age because she feels that he will not want to be in a relationship with him because she is older and she wants to trick him into wanting her. She would go the the extent of only being with him in dark areas, and she would even cover the lightbulbs to not expose her true age. However, Mitch found out later on anyways. The example stated is how Blanche deceived Mitch for quite some time, but her plan ultimately failed.

Now, another example of deception focuses around Blanche and how she tries to hide her past from everyone else. She lived in Auriol as a school teacher and later moved to New Orleans with her sister because she had lost the plantation in Belle Reve due to bankruptcy and she can’t teach anymore because of her broken nerves. However, she later reveals that her lover had ended up killing himself due to being a homosexual and Blanche did not understand his side. Also, she had lost her job as an English school teacher in Auriol not because of broken nerves, but because she had been involved in an illegal relationship with a seventeen-year-old student, so the administration was forced to expel her from teaching. This portrayal of deception demonstrates why Blanche had tricked all of her friends and family into covering her past and why she was actually there.

Finally, we will focus on Stanley as the suspect of deception when he covers up what he had done to Blanche before she was taken away to the medical institution. Stanley had always wanted to expose Blanche for the fraud she truly was, but he had always felt a burning desire for her also. When Blanche and Stanley were having a discussion, he eventually forced himself on her and “took advantage” of her. This traumatic event scarred Blanche and she would eventually lose her mind even more while her fear of Stanley would increase also. When Blanche had a mental breakdown just before she was taken away, all of the guys had turned to Stanley to see his response, to which he stated that he had done nothing to her. Stanley deceived the whole room about what he had actually done to Blanche that one evening.

Deception happens in almost every aspect of this play, such as Blanche hiding her real age from Mitch, her hiding her true past from everyone, and Stanley concealing the truth about his interaction with Blanche. As I said before, there are many themes stated in A Streetcar Named Desire, such as magic and pride, but I feel that deception is the key theme that recurs throughout the whole play. This classic would not be the same if it did not have the wave of deception that Tennessee Williams constructed for it.

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