This Research Paper is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree B. A. (Honors) in English. Shallot University of Science and Technology, sylphs- 3114 (Signature of Supervisor) DRP. Handmaid Seeker Roy Associate Professor (Signature of Author) Declaration I hereby declare that, this research paper entitled "Pretense rather than Reality Turns Balance Dubious Desire into Devastation in Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire" is based on my own study under the guidance of my supervisor, DRP. Handmaid Seeker Roy, Associate Professor, Department of English, Shallot University f Science and Technology.
I have prepared this paper in the form of Research Paper as partial fulfillment of the degree B. A. (Honors). I have neither taken any part of this paper directly from any other sources nor submitted any part of it or in full to any other institution or for the award of any degree. Acknowledgment First and foremost, I would like to thank my respectable supervisor DRP. Handmaid Seeker Roy who shared his ideas with me and offered his time and helpful comments during the stressful period. This work is a product of my sincere effort and my oppressor has certainly being a helping one in this regard.
I am grateful to him for his invaluable guidance and co-operation. I should also thank my dearest friends who were always eager to assist me. I acknowledge my debt to all of the faculty members of my department for their contribution to my education and this work. 02 May, 2013. Into Pretense rather than Reality Turns Balance Dubious Desire Devastation in Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Abstract In today's rough and tough world, there seems to be no room for failure. The pressure to succeed in life sometimes seems unreasonable. Others often set expectations for people too high.
This forces that person to develop ways to take the stress and tension out of their lives in their own individual ways. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennessee Williams, the main character Balance Dubious is incapable of living in the present and facing reality and that's why she takes lies and pretense as a defensive shield. Throughout the play she lives her life in illusion. An in-depth psychological study of this text will show that the final catastrophe of Blanches life is the outcome of her own lie and pretense.
This paper ring the truth that Allan, Stella and Stanley pretense has a clear influence on Blanches devastation. Balance Dubious the protagonist of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire is a fallen woman in society's eyes because of her numerous sexual liaisons. Losing her ancestral estate due to a foreclosed mortgage, losing her young husband to suicide years earlier and her Job,evicting from a motel, she seeks solace and refuge with her married sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski who are living in New Orleans. She comes with her new desires leaving behind her licentious past.
Pretentious Balance is disdainful of the cramped quarters of the Kowalski' two- room apartment and of the apartment's location in a noisy, diverse, working-class neighborhood. In the Kowalski household, Balance pretends to be a woman who has never known indignity. Her false propriety is not simply snobbery, however; it constitutes a calculated attempt to make herself appear attractive to new male. She always pretends to be a young lady despite crossing that period earlier. The raw and unrefined working class Stanley can not put up with her pretense.
Stanley intense tater of Balance is motivated in part by the aristocratic past Balance represents. His view of life, stripped of illusion and artificiality, sees beneath the pretenses and disguises of others. He investigates Blanches past and very cruelly reveals it to Mitch with whom Balance is dreaming of her marriage. As a result Mitch leaves her. Later Stanley in a state of drunkenness rapes Balance. After doing all these Stanley goes back to his real life and pretends as if nothing has happened. Still Balance knows truth and reality.
Until the very last scene Balance does not lose touch with reality. In the last scene Stella confesses to Eunice that she simply cannot allow herself to believe Blanches assertion that Stanley raped her. Stella pretends only to save her own married life. Finally Balance losing her grip on reality soon goes to an insane asylum, but Balance believes she is leaving to Join her millionaire. All her hopes and desires of a better life ends up here with her going to an mental hospital. The researcher wants to show that Blanches own pretense is responsible for her fall.
Reality can be fearful to a pretender as truth can only be harmful to a liar. Reality as tough for her but not hard enough to lead to her insanity. If she had shown the mental strength of accepting reality without pretending, certainly her life would have been different. A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play written by American playwright Tennessee Williams for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. Multiple works and researches have been done on this famous drama by different critics. Alvin B.
Korean presents A Streetcar Named Desire as Williams clearest treatment of the human dilemma which entails the dramatic dilemma. He offers in Streetcar two polar says of looking at experience: the realistic view of Stanley Kowalski and the eggnog- realistic view of his sister-in-law, Balance Dubious. Joseph N. Riddle showed A Streetcar Named Desire- Nietzsche Descending where Williams borrows from Nietzsche in great chunks, often undigested, using his sources with that liberal freedom that has become characteristic of the American artist in search of a theme.
Again Leonard Bergman exemplifies traditional tragedy of A Streetcar Named Desire which enlist the array of forces emporal and eternal, comprehensible and beyond human ken- against which the heroic struggle must be waged. A Streetcar Named Desire is an inspired refutation of the linking of modern American drama with the common man. Balance Dubious was a troubled woman who throughout the play lives her life in illusions. To deal with the problems and hardships of her lives she retreats into her own separate world of illusion and lies.
Balance says: gel don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, Magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. Eh (Sc. 9 p. 204) . The story begins with Balance going to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella, and her husband Stanley for a while. She describes her voyage: eighty told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields(Sc. 1 p. 177). This Cheshire is the driving force, the vehicle of her voyage.
This driving force encourages her to evade harsh reality and create an illusory world with her imagination. When Balance first appears in agelessly Fields, she is presented through her congruousness appearance: she is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace ND earrings of pearl, white gloves and hate(Sc. 1 p. 1 17). In appearance, she is a glamorous, ladylike aristocrat, who is perhaps slightly nervous. She parades about the house as if she is a regal figure, wearing elegant gowns and delicate Jewelry.
Balance likes to appear richer than she really is, in a similar way to costume Jewelry emulating real gold or silver. Her reaction to Stellar apartment is somewhat shocking an its a part of her pretension: ego, left not going to be hypocritical, I'm going to be honestly critical about it! Explain this place to me! What are you doing in a place like this? H (SC. I p. 121) This reaction would be Justified if she had her previous high standards as a result of growing up in Belle Reeve, a great big place with white columns. Now she is a penniless woman with no place to live in.
But her words to Stella shows that in her mind she is still living in her aristocratic world and unable to bear this common surrounding. She pretends to be someone very concerned with moral values and social reasoning. She does not want to be seen by the men before she powders herself. She hides behind a mask of manufactured beauty, struggling to stay attractive. She says: guy know I haven't put on one ounce in ten years, Stella? I weigh what I weighed the summer you left the Belle Revere (Sc. L p. 123). It seems that she believes she is still having the same glam-our as she had ten years earlier.
Balance cannot seem to leave behind the moribund past of Belle Reeve and accept the sterile, modern New South of the Elysian Fields. Thus when Balance gets to New Orleans, she decides that in order to not reveal anything, she must create the illusions that she is happy and the reason she is there only because she's on vacation. This is so that nobody would think less of her. Even she lies to her loving sister Stella and hides the fact that she has lost her Job. gel was so exhausted by all left would been through my nerves broke. So Mr. graves is the superintendent - he suggested I take a leave of absence (Sc. P. 122). Thus she conceals the truth so that no one can know her weaknesses. But such attempts only reveal her pretension and superficiality throughout the play. She says to Stella: Egypt don't you look at me, Stella, no,no,no, not till later, not till leave bathed and rested! Looked at in this merciless glare! Eh And turn that light off I won't be (Sc. L p. 120). She tries to avoid bright light of any kind. Her reaction to light can be regarded as an attempt to hide her true nature as well as her vanishing beauty and youth. By hiding from the light, she tries to escape reality.
She covers the naked light bulb with a Chinese paper lantern, saying, gel canine stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action (Sc. 3 p. 150). This remark shows that Balance would rather hide behind polite phrases than accept truth and reality. However her illusory world soon confronts with Stanley straightforwardness and honesty which seems to pose a strong threat towards Balance. Balance deceives everyone for a good portion of the play. Stanley does not enjoy agencies, he says that visage men are took in by this Hollywood glam-our stuff and some men are note(Sc. P. 137). As Balance Dubious has created a sort of glass cube around herself, for protection, and people such as Stanley threaten to shatter that glass cube by learning her secrets. Swell, life is too full of evasions and ambiguities , I think. I like an artiste who paints in strong, bold colors, primary colors (Sc. 2 p. 137). She is denying her reality and urging for a life filled with all brightness and colors. In front of Stanley she pretends that she is not vulnerable. Pretension is her primary means of self-defense. She is not deceitful out of malice. But, Stanley does not buy into her facades.
Stanley and Balance gradually become enemies. He starts questioning her and others about her last few years. Stanley continuously tries to discover her true history so that he can destroy her pretensions and let everyone know the real Balance. He does this because he is straightforward and doesn't like to be deceived. Stanley search ultimately explores the reasons of her pretensions. :What initially leads to her illusions is love. When she was young sixteen, . Made the discovery - love All at once and much, much too completely (Sc. 6 p. 182). She met Allan Grey and fell in love.
The young couple got married and, to Balance, were falling more and more in love, when one day coming into a room that I thought was empty (Sc. 6 p. 183), this illusion would be shattered. In this room she found her husband, Allan, and a older male friend of his. Allan Grey was gay. Allan was in fact a pretender himself, by trying to appear straight. At first, they tried to deny it but very soon the illusion was totally destroyed as Allan killed himself. From that moment she is afraid of reality and hides herself behind her pretentious world. But she forgets illusions honest last forever and pretensions must face truth someday.
Balance came to Elysian Fields to forget her horrible past, and to have a fresh start . In fact Balance admits in the fourth scene that she wants to make herself a new life. Though she forgets, creation of happy life based on lies will soon be demolished with the blow of truth. After coming in New Orleans she meets a friend of Stanley, Mitch, and eventually she starts to think that maybe he is the one. Immediately, she realizes that, Mitch needs someone too. With Mitch she puts on the airs of a woman who has never known indignity. Although Balance was once a kind, normal, sweet girl, her very being has deteriorated.
Now, all thefts left is what she struggles desperately to maintain on the outside. Balance thinks of Mitch as a future husband, and therefore she does not want him to know her past or her true age, and the best way to hide her age is to stay out of bright light where he could possibly see her wrinkles and fading youth in her face. However her deception soon brought into light by Stanley. Her promiscuity in laurel, sexual relations with anyone who agreed to it and finally her mistake of trying to seduce a 17 - year old student of hers. While staying in New Orleans she tries her best to forget her past and purify herself.
She is always having baths so no one can see her dirty or tired. She is obsessed with bathing, though it doesn't t necessarily washes her dirty past. Her past catches up with her and destroys her relationship with Mitch. Mitch accuses her of lying and pretending. But she denies such accusation asserting that gender inside,' didn't lie in my hearted(Sc. P. 205). Suddenly everything begins to fall around Balance Just as quickly as she has built it. Mitch realizes that Balance has been deceiving him and looks down on her true impure self. It is now that Balance completely unravels.
Mitch leaves her and she is left all alone only with her broken illusions. This incident with Mitch makes Balance mentally and emotionally battered. Then Stanley comes to inflict more damage to her. Still then Balance is making stories about her supposed lovers (Sheep Hunting) to salvage her pride, pretend to play along with the charade. He asks peculiar questions that force Balance to a point where she could no longer keep up her act. Then, to deliver the ultimate insult to Balance, Stanley brutally rapes her. This shock actually leads her to a permanent illusive world.
Previously she used to lie with others but now she loses her touch with reality. Nobody is ready to accept her fairy tales anymore though this time she is telling the truth. Even Stella denies her truth. Stella tells Eunice: who replies: gel couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley', . Goon's ever believe tie Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you've got to keep owing" (Sc. Al p. 217). Here it almost seems as though Stella is realizing what is reality and what is not. But she pretends to disbelieve Balance in order to avoid any kind of rift in married life.
Thus Stella makes a conscious decision to believe Stanley instead of her sister because to do otherwise would be both emotionally and economically difficult with a new baby so she, too, is engaging in a measure of self-deception. Stanley is also revealed to be capable of deceit, he does not admit the truth of what happened between him and Balance to his friends, to Stella, and maybe not even to himself. Stellar deception shatters the least hope and strength of Balance. She is no more be capable of pulling herself to face the reality. Once she created this fantasy world to hide the hurts from her youth.
But now she begins to fabricate lies so complex that even she believes them. All she ever desired was a good, clean life. What she acquired is complex enigmas buried in the deepest catacombs of her soul and an asylum, or psychiatric hospital to live with her own imagination and deceive none but herself. Finally Alliances shocking reality would not disturb Blanches life so much if he had never pretended to be straight. Balance felt she could evade reality and live up with illusion. But that was not to happen because reality stays with people like shadows.
Balance blurt the truth in front of Allan which results in the suicide of him. It messed up her life and she sank herself into an illusory world to get some relief. Her illusion gave her temporary relief but snatched the opportunity of real happiness. She lied to her sister who as a result denies to accept her truth at last. She thought of finding happiness and escaping sorrow by hiding herself under the roof of Mitchell love. She wished to be loved and supported by Mitch. But he hardly spent a peaceful moment with Mitch as she was always afraid of the revelation of her lies.