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Reality Vs. Illusion

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Reality Vs. Illusion

It is human nature for every person to have a vision of a perfect world and a perfect life. This imaginary world is exactly what Blanche DuBois has created for herself in A Streetcar Named Desire. In this story by Tennessee Williams the theme of reality vs. illusion plays a very vital role on the story and its characters. The fact that Blanche is so far wrapped in the illusion of what her world is has played a big role in misconstruing the reality of what her life has actually become. She tends to falsify her reality so that she does not have to accept what she has become. She is unwilling to accept the reality in the decline of her social status, the reality of her decline in physical attributes, and the reality of her past. All of these aspects eventually lead to her mental breakdown which eventually make her go to the asylum at the end of the story.

First of all, Blanche's inability to accept the reality of her decline in social status is seen when she is forced to go live with her sister Stella in the Elysian Fields. She tells everyone that she left Laurel which is her illusion of what happened. But in reality after she had affairs with the 17 year old student, she was forced to leave Laurel because nobody wanted her there anymore. Her social status had taken a very big hit and she was no longer respected nor wanted where she lived. Even by moving to the new place though Blanche has put up a guard and made an illusion so that people will accept her. This has caused conflict which also plays a part on her social status because Stanley will not accept her or her lies. Stanley is a realist and that is all he will stand. And when Blanche starts to talk to his friend, Mitch, and start telling Mitch lies about herself, Stanley decides he will not let his friend be deceived like that. She makes herself seem pure to Mitch and says all the right things to make Mitch want to marry her, but once Stanley reveals the reality of the situation this totally changes Mitch's perspective of Blanche and once again ruins her social status with the man that she loves because he ends up leaving her. This was just one of the many lies put fourth by Blanche throughout the story though.

Another aspect of Blanche's illusion that has taken an affect on people is her un-acceptance of her physical attributes. Blanche always hides herself with the cover of dimmed or covered lights. She will not let anybody see her in direct or bright light. And she will also not let Mitch take her out during the day time or any well light areas. She does this to avoid the reality of her fading beauty and so that Mitch will not



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