Study Guide

Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Sweet, Sorrowful Teddy Bear

Mitch is a big-hearted, lonely dude. In a 1995 version of Streetcar, he's played by the always-cuddly John Goodman. 'Nuff said.

Mitch and Blanche are an example of a co-dependent relationship that is founded on mutual loneliness and the desire to be with someone —anyone—to distract themselves from previously suffered emotional damage. The only reason these two are together at all is out of mutual need. Or, as Mitch says,

“You need somebody. And I need somebody, too. Could it be—you and me, Blanche?” (6.121).

Mitch might have his own reasons for liking Blanche, but we have a hard time believing that she harbors any real feelings for him. When they meet, it’s clear that she has to carry the conversation entirely herself. Mitch is a bit slow, definitely awkward, and way inexperienced with women. This is in part why it’s so easy for Blanche to manipulate him.

The big tip-off as to Blanche’s real motives comes when Stella asks her, “Do you want him?” and she replies,

“I want to rest! I want to breathe quietly again! Yes—I want Mitch… very badly! Just think! If it happens! I can leave here and not be anyone’s problem…” (5.86-7)

It’s more about what Mitch can do for her than who Mitch actually is. And it’s more about being married at all than it is about having him in particular as a husband.

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