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Blanche Stellas older sister until recently a high school English teacher inLaurel Mississippi She arrives in New Orleans a loquacious wittyarrogant fragile and ultimately crumbling figure Blanche once wasmarried to and passionately in love with a tortured young man He killedhimself after she discovered his homosexuality and she has suffered fromguilt and regret ever since Blanche watched parents and relatives all theold guard die off and then had to endure foreclosure on the family estateCracking under the strain or perhaps yielding to urges so long suppressedthat they now could no longer be contained Blanche engages in a series ofsexual escapades that trigger an expulsion from her community In NewOrleans she puts on the airs of a woman who has never known indignitybut Stanley sees through her Her past catches up with her and destroysher relationship with Mitch Stanley as she fears he might destroys whatsleft of her At the end of the play she is led away to an insane asylum This is indeed the story of what happened to Blanche in the play but whatflaws in her own character were to blame for her subsequent tragedy Blanche is by far the most complex character of the play An intelligentand sensitive woman who values literature and the creativity of the humanimagination she is also emotionally traumatised and repressed This giveslicense for her own imagination to become a haven for her pain Onesenses that Blanches own view of her real self as opposed to her ideal selfhas been increasingly blurred over the years until it is sometimes difficultfor her to tell the difference It is a challenge to find the key to Blanchesmelancholy but perhaps the roots of her trauma lie in her early marriageShe was haunted by her inability to help or understand her young troubledhusband and that she has tortured herself for it ever since Her drive to loseherself in the kindness of strangers might also be understood from thisperiod in that her sense
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