A Streetcar Named Desire
How we cite our quotes:
Young man! Young, young, young man! Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Prince out of the Arabian Nights!
[The Young Man laughs uncomfortably and stands like a bashful kid. Blanche speaks softly to him.] (5.116)
It’s no coincidence that Blanche describes the young man as a fictional character – it reminds us that this entire scene is part of her altered perception of reality.
I guess it is just that I have – old-fashioned ideals! [She rolls her eyes, knowing he cannot see her face.] (6.80)
Blanche’s relationship with Mitch is founded on her lies and intentionally distorted perceptions. Regardless of Stanley’s actions, the Blanche-Mitch couple is doomed from the start.
I don’t want realism. I want magic! [Mitch laughs] 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 truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it! – Don’t turn the light on! (9.43)
Now we see that Blanche’s fear of the strong light is about more than the age showing on her face. She’s not only hiding her appearances from the world, but refusing to look at the world in a harsh light herself.