Scene 11

The Grand Finale!

Links to Scene 3:

  • Stanley was losing to Mitch in scene 3, but now he’s winning
    • Blanche is leaving, he’s master of the house now
  • Blanche bathing —> in the past, to cleanse herself of her past sins but now maybe to cleanse herself of Stanley
  • Non-fluency features in Mitch’s speech: from his guilt or from drunkenness
  • ‘What’s the matter with him?’ Stanley still emotionally stunted, no empathy at all
  • Eunice: ‘I always did say that men…’ — at this stage, the women are sympathizing with Blanche but the men are still playing poker.
    • Where were the women before? While Blanche was slipping into insanity?
  • ‘Don’t stand up. I’m only passing through.’ — this time she really means it, change in character. She no longer wants to be looked at
    • All the men are standing up, but Mitch doesn’t. Reverse of what happens in Scene 3
  • Scene 2: the blind leading the blind, reference with Stella

General Notes:

  • ‘I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley.’
    • Like she just doesn’t want to believe it because can’t bear living without Stanley. Kind of selfish
    • ‘Life has to go on’ — no choice for women in 1920s + baby! Stella is now living in her fantasy. Irony because Blanche was living in fantasy, but Stella has to resort to this to go on living
    • Maybe it’s something normal for this quarter?
    • Only recently was rape recognised/becoming a concern that a man can rape his wife.
  • ‘I’m anxious to leave this place. This place is like a trap.’
    • Sees the trap now, reminder of wt happened in previous scenes
  • Stella allowing her to live in the fantasy because of the brutal reality of mental hospital
    • Or she feels guilty. Emphasizes that Stella believes her but can’t accept it.
  • Mitch lowers his head, Stanley rising up
    • Stanley: no remorse over his bad actions, can quickly stand up to challenge the victim. Proud. Reminding Blanche that he’s still there
    • Mitch: as if he’s the one who actually raped her, has his head down. Shows his guilt.
  • Cathedral bells: build tension, foreshadowing, rings with death. But could also mark two things — Blanche rings with death, Stanley celebratory.
    • Fantasy vs Reality: Blanche
  • Unwashed grape: shows her vulnerability, and how she’s been tainted. With doctors and matron too
  • ‘Cynical detachment’
    • Linking to William’s sister who went through lobotomy. Shows how they don’t understand the illness
  • The sea… escaping fantasy. Her story has link b/w death and desire, foreshadowing. Downfall.
    • Even in death she sees herself as being in water. Link to heroic figures being sent off, sign of rebirth and cleansing
    • Reality cuts in straight away with the doctor and matron
    • Blanche can predict that things aren’t right now
  • Music:
    • Drums
    • Varsouviana
  • Stanley involved in capturing her again p.104 ‘as if to block her way’
    • Stanley shuffling cards — he’s dealing the cards/fate, the puppet master
    • ‘Stanley ripping off the lantern’: last straw, violates her again. Still mocking her
    • Stella focusing on herself while Blanche is being treated like a wild animal
  • Descriptions of matron, doctor etc.
  • Madre de dios!… etc
    • This is bad, very very bad!
    • Even the poker players is saying it’s bad, so shows the severity of the situation.
  • Mitch saying I’ll kill you etc.
    • ‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’ — links to her past?
      • Doctor smiling at her, wrapped up in her fantasy. Her hamartia, not finding definition for ‘kindness’, depends on others for support.
    • Doctor smiling at her — deception,
      • Link to context: maybe Williams projecting how he wished his sister would be treated
    • Stella’s reaction use quote la
      • The baby being handed: a reminder why Stella stays with Stanley
      • ‘Luxuriously sobbing’ — her catharsis. Stella surrendering to her tears basically
      • Baby kept away while Blanche was inside
    • Stanley opening her blouse
      • Emphasises how their relationship is built on desire etc.
    • Pale blue blanket (p.79) two blue candles, blue piano.
    • This game is seven-card stud
      • Metaphor for life. Life is just a game, it goes on — Stanley may have won but life is still going on.
      • Don’t show all your cards. ‘Keeping your cards close to your chest.’
      • It’s a male-dominated word?

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