Scene 4

In Scene 4 we discussed the role desire plays in various characters’ lives, whether it be their hamartia or a catalyst to their plot progression. We also considered how desire seemingly acts as a justification for immorality, betrayal and cruelty.

General Notes:

  • Note: bromo — something for a hangover
  • This scene is perhaps the most rational we see of Blanche + as a modern audience, side with her
  • New Orleans: portrayed as a place where these relationships (volatile, explosive) is a normalcy.
  • Blanche’s tragic fall: her mental deterioration
  • Pin: used to represent committed relationship that may lead to engagement

Actions etc:

  • Stanley getting his car greased — a mundane thing, as if nothing happened
  • Stella talks about the radio being fixed, ‘only a tube fell out’ — symbolism for the relationship? As if the fight is just something that can be fixed later.
  • Widening gap/drift between the sisters
    • ‘Breakfast’ ‘Mess’ — Stella always tries to change subject while Blanche wants her to elaborate.
    • Stella doesn’t understand Blanche’s dramatic reactions, wants to stay with Stanley
    • Stella: a realist (the traffic thing). Blanche: a fantasist.
    • Blanche doesn’t know how to dial
  • Ten dollars for abuse??? Unacceptable!!!!
  • Shep Huntleigh: deus ex machina?


  • ‘terrible row’
    • Euphemises it? Stella laughs it off like it’s a trivial matter.
  • “I was — sort of — thrilled by it.”
    • Stella is almost blind to Stanley’s abuse/cruel actions
    • Poker parties, drinking; Stanley’s ‘pleasure’, Stella uses pleasure to justify cruelty
    • Blanche’s morality gone? Flirts with her sister’s husband
  • ‘Some things happen between a man and woman in the dark…’
    • Used to justify. Alluding to sex; can ignore everything
    • Stella doesn’t see Stanley cleaning up after himself — doesn’t even consider it an option
  • ‘Desire’ brought me here…
    • A big metaphor for sex/lust.
    • ‘Brought me here’, suggests non-consensual. Something to do with her past.
    • Learnt from experience that desire brings downfall — desire is Blanche’s hamartia.
  • ‘To go out with three times… if the devil is in you…’
    • Uses the word ‘devil’ — sees desire/sex as sin and possessed/consuming. That’s why Blanche bathes a lot (cleansing, etc.)
      • Wouldn’t have been acceptable in the 1930s to sleep around etc
  • ‘Blanche springs up’
    • Erratic movements show her unease and fragility, like a scared prey.
  • ‘I’m going to do something about it!’
    • Theme of escaping, Blanche trying to make a new life for herself
  • grease stains, seersucker pants…’
    • Contrast b/w Blanche and Stanley, shows social class divide. Re-enforces the fact that he’s common.
    • Dramatic irony since he’s eavesdropping
  • ‘Stanley licks his lips’
    • Links in with Blanche’s monologue: predatory action, like he’s ready for the kill
  • (Train brings Stanley, train Stanley re-enters)
    • Symbolises rising tension
    • Train leads people — Stanley is the leader/driving, Blanche is just a passing object
    • Stanley is bringing package — same like the meat in Scene 1
  • (Blue piano stage direction)
    • Blanche’s mindset
    • Dramatic irony; audience knows Stanley overheard
    • Stella runs to Stanley; basically has won Stella. Animals, if they’re challenged they fight it out. Feels like he needs to defend what he has.
    • Can act cool even during times of tension like this — sinister. Frustrating Blanche. Contrast with previous scene because he was explosive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s