street-car named desire Essay

Submitted By sawad
Words: 4735
Pages: 19

A Streetcar Named Desire: Scene Notes – Scene 3

Summary of scene:
· The scene begins with the men playing poker in Stanley’s apartment – Stanley dominates the conversation and is becoming frustrated because he is losing
· Stella and Blanche return from the show. Stanley whacks Stella’s thigh in a primitive gesture of ownership and Blanche meets Mitch as he is coming out of the toilet: he seems very attracted to her.
· Blanche undresses in the light through the portieres in order to attract Mitch’s attention and pretends she didn’t realise she was in the light when Stella tells her to move.
· When Stella goes into the bathroom, Blanche moves back into the streak of light.
· Mitch uses going to the bathroom as an excuse to go back into the bedroom to see Blanche.
· Mitch shows her his silver cigarette case and Blanche pretends she can’t make out the inscription in order to make Mitch move closer with a lighted match – it appears they have both lost a loved one
· Blanche says that she doesn’t usually have more than one drink and admits that she had had three that night in an attempt to flirt with Mitch and imply that she could be taken advantage of if he wished
· Blanche tells Mitch that Stella is her older sister although she calls her “little sister”.
· She also asks him to put a lantern over a light bulb, as she cannot stand a “naked light bulb”.
· Blanche appears to be fishing for compliments and Mitch does give her those compliments, although he appears to be sincere rather than obliging.
· When Blanche turns on the radio again and begins dancing with Mitch who is delighted but, unable to dance, shuffles in an ungainly fashion resembling a bear
· Stanley, angered, throws the radio out of the window.
· Stella calls Stanley a drunk and Stanley chases her offstage and hits her.
· Mitch says that poker should not be played amongst women.
· Blanche is shocked and takes Stella upstairs to Eunice.
· When Stanley is more sober, he calls out for Stella in a brutally animalistic way and she eventually comes down and they come together with ‘low animal moans’
· The scene ends with Blanche and Mitch talking on the steps of the building.

· Pg 145 – “I think I will bathe.” “Again.” – The fact that Blanche requires a bath again suggests that she might have the need to subconsciously wash something away. At this point the audience is not sure what although we suspect it may be to do with the death of her husband. In reality, if she were washing anything away it is more likely to be the memories of disgraceful dismissal from the school in Laurel. However, a more likely interpretation of Blanche constant bathing is that the bathroom is the only place in the house where she can fantasise about the way she wishes the world to be (for it to be beautiful, aristocratic, for her to be young, etc) without having to face the truth. Even in the house itself, we constantly see her being alarmed by noises from outside, e.g. the vendor, and it is as if she has to seek sanctuary from this invasive truths in the bathroom.
· Bathing is also explored with Stanley’s character. After the disturbing event of Stanley hitting his wife, Mitch orders to “put him under the shower,” demonstrating that bathing is used to refresh, cleanse and purify. Stanley comes out the shower sober as he realizes that Stella has left him. Light/the avoidance of light
· Pg 146/147 – Blanche purposely stands in the streak of yellow light when undressing. This could be because only the outline of her body is shown, as opposed to the actual view of her body which reinforces the view of her character as being insecure about her appearance but desirous of attracting male attention.
· Pg 150 – “I can’t stand a naked light bulb” – Blanche may feel that the naked light