To What Extent Do You Feel Sympathy for Blanche Dubois?

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The author creates an ambiguous character in Blanche DuBois, making the reader’s sympathy for her swing like a pendulum. While I partially sympathize with her due to the painful experiences she goes through such as the suicide of her husband, her loneliness, and betrayal by her family, her numerous lies and failed attempts to break up Stanley and Stella make it difficult to sympathize with her completely. The death of her husband is a vital turning point in her life and her disintegration begins from there. Blanche’s loneliness grows and she resorts to intimacies with strangers to fill the void, but all the men in Laurel take advantage of her desperate position. When Mitch stands her up, she hides her pain behind a tight smile, implying that she has encountered this situation many times and has become almost desensitized.

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To a certain extent, I partially sympathies with Blanche DuBois. This disintegrated character goes through many painful experiences, some being the suicide of her young husband Alan Grey, her loneliness throughout the play, and when her only family member betrays her for desire. On the other hand, Blanche loses my sympathy at some events due to the numerous lies she has told throughout the play to many of the characters and the failed attempts of trying to break up Stanley and Stella.

It could be argued that Williams deliberately creates an ambiguous character to put the readers in a situation where their sympathy for her swings like a pendulum. The first, and in my own opinion, most important event in the play that made me sympathies with Blanche was the death of her husband Alan Grey.

This was a vital turning point in Blanche’s life and where her disintegration began. Blanche mentions her late husband several times in the play, and at one point reacts negatively to it by saying she’s “going to be sick”, her physical reaction standing as evidence that she is more than just emotionally affected, attracting a lot of sympathy from the reader.

As time passed, her loneliness grew, and as women at the time were very dependant, she wanted to fill the void of her anguish and solitude, hence resorting to “intimacies with strangers”. She tried to develop a relationship like the one she has had in the past with Alan, however this couldn’t be because all in the men in laurel only took advantage of her desperate position, making her vulnerable and pitiful in the reader’s eyes.

When Mitch “stood her up” on one of their dates, Blanche was hurt but attempted to hide her pain behind a “tight, artificial smile”, implying that not only does she want to retain her dignity and hide her misery, but also she has encountered this situation many times and it has made her well-prepared for whatever may come and almost desensitized. One is regarded with pity when they attempt to numb themselves from feelings such as pain, sorrow, and misery.

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To What Extent Do You Feel Sympathy for Blanche Dubois?. (2017, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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