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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Madness Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

BLANCHE
…I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can’t be alone! Because - as you must have noticed - I’m – not very well… [Her voice drops and her look is frightened.] (1.141)

This is the first hint we get of Blanche’s madness. Oddly enough, it isn’t solitude but rather the negative influence of other people that ultimately destroys her.

Quote #2

BLANCHE
…And funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths – not always. (1.185)

We get the sense from lines like this that all these deaths – of her family members and also her husband – are really at the source of Blanche’s madness.

Quote #3

BLANCHE
Yes. [During the pause she looks up at the sky.] There’s so much – so much confusion in the world… [He coughs diffidently.]Thank you for being so kind! I need kindness now. (3.215)

Notice when Blanche starts retreating into her fictional world of fantasy – at the first display of real violence from Stanley. This almost foreshadows her breakdown at the end of the play as the result of Stanley’s sexual violence against her.

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