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The role of Blance and Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire

In the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Need by Tennessee Williams, the relationship among Blanche and Mitch is a crucial subplot in the tale of Blanche’s descent into madness and isolation. Whilst Williams initially presents Mitch as the answer to all Blanche’s issues and as a viable male suitor, it quickly becomes evident that Blanche and Mitch are not meant to be with each other. Mitch, in the broader progression of Williams’ operate, is merely an additional man who will ruin Blanche’s life.

Williams first presents Mitch as Blanche’s potential saviour, and indeed that is how Blanche also wishes to see him at the start. Not only might Mitch be in a position to provide for Blanch financially, but emotionally as well. Blanche remarks that Mitch is “sensitive”, and they share a tragic romantic past. Moreover, Mitch appears to fit Blanche’s ideal of the Southern Beau when compared to other men, whom she regards as “apes”. Mitch is formal and respectful, calling Blanche “Miss DuBois” and Blanche admits that she appreciates his “gallantry”. IT seems that Blanche and Mitch are in a way united by their shared loss, and are brought with each other by mutual experience. They both require to fill a vacuum in their lives and conveniently find every single other as a means for emotional (and monetary) security. Mitch hits upon this, stating: “you need to have somebody, and I want somebody – could it be you and me Blanche?”. There is even a short tenderness in their partnership and Blanche to locate solace in Mitch she “huddles” into him and offers “long grateful sobs” ahead of exclaiming “sometimes, there’s God, so quickly”. We can see the closeness of the bond amongst the two of them as Mitch is the only character who Blanche tells the truth about “Alan”, and it is following this outburst of emotion that they are united with each other.

Nevertheless, Blanche and Mitch’s connection is doomed to fail by the nature of Mitch’s incomplete, pseudo-masculinity. When recounting the story of Alan, Blanche reveals that she couldn’t be with him since he wasn’t “like a man” – clearly alluding to his homosexuality which was taboo and illegal at the time. But throughout the play we discover that Mitch also is not “like a man”. From the really starting we see that Mitch operates in “the spare components department”, a feasible reference to his incomplete masculinity according to Kolin he appears in no way to have matured, still living with his “mother” and when he dances with Blanche, it is “awkwardly”. Similarly, his conversation is awkward and unromantic, as he remarks on how he “sweats” and how significantly he “weighs”. It soon becomes apparent that Mitch is as a result not the “Rosenkavalier” or “Armand” that Blanche paints him to be. This is the difficulty. Blanche, who “doesn’t want realism” but “magic”, makes Mitch fir the mould of the Southern Beau which she desires by signifies of her literary allusions regardless of the fact that he belongs to the new order of males in the post-Planet War II era. She demands that he “bows” and commands him to “dance”. Mitch becomes Blanche’s pet man whom she moulds into her perfect of masculinity which is, like Blanche, “incongruous” to contemporary ideals of masculinity which promoted powerful men who were war veterans and the defenders against tyranny soon after Globe War II. Blanche, as with every little thing, clouds the partnership with Mitch in illusion, which Williams symbolises with the scene when Blanche invites Mitch to spot a “lantern” more than the light in her space. She says “I can’t stand a naked bulb”, a metaphor for her refusal to accept reality, and putting the lantern more than the light is symbolic of Blanche’s masking the truth of her age and past from Mitch. Mitch’s masculinity is additional questioned when compared with Stanley. Stanley is the perfect stereotypical man’s man of the time: he is extremely sexed he brings residence “meat” for his wife, symbolic of the hunter-gatherer dynamic and he plays sport. Moreover, when it comes to Blanche, Stanley is assertive and successfully has his way with he in the implied rape of scene ten, therefore asserting his sexual dominance. Mitch nevertheless is unable to do so, and in his attempted rape he “fumbles to embrace her”. It is as a result clear that, either due to Mitch’s incomplete masculinity, or the veneer of chivalrous romanticism Blanche lives below, sooner or later will fail. In the end, Mitch yells that is was “lies, lies, lies!” that tore them apart and the connection ends.

However Williams makes greater use of the partnership amongst Mitch and Blanche than as a mere subplot, doomed to fail. Thematically, Mitch, like Stella, becomes a battleground for the ideology clash amongst Stanley and Blanche, who represent the New and the Old Globe respectively. Stanley: the immigrant worker, “100% American”, war veteran. Blanche: the upper class Southern Belle of the USA’s French-colonial past. When Stanley and Blanche meet it is clear that their two ideologies can't reside side by side, and a battle ensues for dominance. Stanley wins the initial battle, right after convincing Stela to “come back” to him after hitting her, and the field of battle shifts to Mitch. Initially, by signifies of her deceptive seduction and emotional appeal, Mitch falls for Blanche, however Stanley manages to convince Mitch to seek the truth from Blanche. Indeed, he does and Mitch adopts Stanley’s speech patterns and physical movements in scene 9, a maneuver which is symbolic of Stanley obtaining successfully exerted his influence more than Mitch: he speaks monosyllabically (“Me. Mitch”) and with interrogative statements (“Why?”, “Are you out of your thoughts?” and “Do we have to have that fan on?”). Sooner or later, Mitch “rips” the “lantern” off the lamp, symbolically violating Blanche and prefiguring the subsequent rape scene by shattering her illusions and pretences. Soon after Stanley has taken Mitch from Blanche, she has lost almost everything and seems in garments which are “soiled” and “crumpled”, symbolic of her stained purity and helplessness.

In the end, Williams creates Mitch as someone who signifies properly concerning Blanche, and who is 1 of the couple of characters to empathise with her, nevertheless he by no means realistically does anything to aid her. His properly-which means but powerless position is epitomised by the end stage directions as he is “sobbing” although Blanche leaves, and in his failed try to criticise Stanley (“You…brag…brag…brag…bull!”) This criticism may possibly nicely have carried some weight and helped Blanche, yet it is castrated by Mitch’s inability to even formulate a sentence. Mitch was Blanche’s final chance to detach herself from the Old World of the colonial South and attach herself to the modern, post-industrialist world in the aftermath of Planet War II, a globe in which conventional gender roles had shifted. When this opportunity is missed, Blanche is doomed to fade away into the abyss of obscurity and her institutionalisation becomes inevitable as she is left insane, alone, unstable, and unsupported.
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