A Streetcar Named Desire
How we cite our quotes:
It isn’t enough to be soft. You’ve got to be soft and attractive. And I – I’m fading now! I don’t know how much longer I can turn the trick. (5.60)
Blanche’s "softness" may have been an asset in her youth, but it’s certainly a liability now. It means that she isn’t a strong enough person to deal with men like Stanley.
She is. She was. You didn’t know Blanche as a girl. Nobody, nobody was as tender and trusting as she was. But people like you abused her, and forced her to change. (8.50)
Blanche’s charms helped her socially when she was younger, but hurt her after she matured into adulthood. Stanley’s pragmatism is far more suited to the real world than Blanche’s poetry and flirtations.
A cultivated woman, a woman of intelligence and breeding can enrich a man’s life – immeasurably! I have those things to offer, and this doesn’t take them away. Physical beauty is passing. A transitory possession. But beauty of the mind and richness of the spirit and tenderness of the heart – and I have all of those things. […] But I have been foolish - casting my pearls before swine! (10.44)
Look at the intensity of Blanche’s self-deception moments before she is finally "broken" by Stanley.