A Streetcar Named Desire: Scene 12

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Scene 12 of A Streetcar Named Desire
Plot
• Doctor is stern yet kind
• She drifts b/w her illusions and reality. recalls her visit with Stella
• Mitch comes to visit yet she pretends he’s Shep
• When he leaves the Dr. Wants to know why she thinks he’s Shep.
• She replies, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” and “I will continue to do so”

Please comment and provide feedback b/c I have to hand this in for a class. I would like you to list the metaphors, allusions, juxapositions, light imagery, & symbols used. Also what are the themes I have tried to used.

Submitted: October 19, 2009

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Submitted: October 19, 2009

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Statement of Intent

The twelfth and additional scene, Retreating from the Burrow, is a written piece to accompany the eleven original scenes of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. This adjunction piece is an imitation of Williams’ writing in the sense it follows his writing style. In this additional scene Blanche is the central figure, she speaks in a desperate sensual manner, and her actions project the contrast between her illusions and the reality.

Written as an addition scene, this piece of writing displays the themes Williams exercised in the original. At this point, Blanche is instilled at a mental institution undergoing psychiatric treatment. As the scene begins, she is drifting between her world of illusion and the reality, displaying her world of desire through her sensual manner and suggestive wording through her conversation with the doctor – her desire to be held, touched, and loved by others. Upon Mitch’s arrival the end to her illusion-filled world also embarks, she realizes what she feels for Mitch is far stronger than desire and ends her delusional world because she knows only realism and true love can ever unite. There is also a period of redemption; in this scene Shep is an allegory for her past, by pretending Mitch is Shep she pretends she is still living in her world of “ought to be the truth” and pushes her saviour away because she cannot bear to make others suffer for her past actions. It is also important to note this scene is set on Groundhog Day, the day where it is revealed when winter will come to an end. The groundhog symbolizes Blanche; they both serve the purpose of revelation – the groundhog must reveal when winter will end while Blanche reveals the time frame for her to consort to realism. As Groundhog Phil diverges winter will soon come to an end it symbolizes a metaphorical death of Blanche’s life of lies. As Blanche lights the candle and holds it to her face she states, “As my heart beats I know it is time for me to face the light; I do not deserve the kindness of those who care for me.”, this strong sense of light imagery reveals Blanche can now face the truth and no longer has to hid in the shadows and in her delusional world. Based on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and written in his figurative heavy style, Retreating from the Burrow, closely follows the constraints of tragedy as Blanche realizes her world of desire and illusions will not bring her to true love but as in a tragedy she is too late – by the time of her realize she has made herself into a person she does not want others to associate with, hence her loss of Mitch.

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Scene 12

It is mid morning and the sky that shows through the barred windows of the building is a serene misty blue-gray. There is a hint of warm sunlight in a distance. The outside world, visible to the eyes from the barred windows, is of a bleak cold winter.

The lights hanging in the interior of the building project a dull piercing yellow and casts shadows onto the walls giving a sterile, eerie feeling. Each and every room is deprived of personal touch; each room resembles a prison cell. The patients of this mental institution each live in their own imaginary worlds. They are encouraged by the Doctor to interact with each other but they do not because they each subconsciously know that by doing so their imaginary worlds will crumble.

It is February 2 and all of Charleston, Wyoming along with the rest of America are waiting for Groundhog Phil to withdraw from his burrow and indicate if winter’s presence will stay for a longer time with them.

Inside the building there is a room paved with yellow linoleum. A heavy wooden table is set by the window and placed between two heavy woollen gray chairs. The Doctor occupies one of these chairs, resembling a tin solider in his stern posture. Blanche lounges daintily in hers, humming a tinkering tune. A pot of coffee, two full mugs, matches and a candle occupy the table. There is a sense of familiarity as Blanche and the Doctor converse during this daily meeting.

Doctor [clipped]: How are you doing today Ms. Dubois?

Blanche [gaily, flirting tone]: Ah, my good doctor how many times must I tell you to forget this wishy-washy formality. [she gets up and walks sensually to the chair occupied by the Doctor and places her right hand on the side of his face] The name is Blanche. After all this time we have spent together do you not think we know each other well enough to be friends? [laughs lightly, walks slowly away from the Doctor and turns look out the window] In the old times I never let anyone call me Blanche unless we were introduced by a close friend and have known each other for – for a long time. [turns and faces the Doctor]Yes, I had many friends, they used to come to Belle Rêve and we would dance the night away, [solemnly] I wonder where they are now....[sits back into her chair]

Doctor: Ms. Dubois, your friends are closer than you think. If you would allow them, they would like to visit. Your sister, Stella, for one, would like to come visit you in the spring and introduce you to your nephew. Also –

[the Doctor is interrupted by Blanche]

Blanche [excitedly]: My dear sister Stella. Stella for star, I do love her so dearly, my dear younger sister. I do wish she had saved herself and come here with me instead of staying with that animal. [hysterically] How common he is, she says she loves him but I know she only wants – his – his...[Blanche pauses, shakes her head]

Doctor: I will inform your sister of your affection and notify her you will receive her when she comes to visit. We received a letter informing us she will visit you soon, in six weeks or even sooner.

Blanche: That Polack better not accompany her! He took pride in touchingly tormenting my poor dear soul. He – he even [Varsouviana polka plays, increasing in volume] dared to lay his fingers on my Allan’s poems!

Doctor [calmly]: Now Ms. Dubois, those are events of the past. Perhaps it is time for you to forgive Mr. Kowalski and look beyond the past to the future.

Blanche [hysterically]: Forgive him! How! His intrusion caused for the deterioration of my relationship with –

[Blanche is interrupted by the Doctor]

Doctor [soothingly]: I have some news which may make your forgiveness of Mr. Kowalski easier. Nurse! Bring in our visitor.

[Blanche looks at the door, Mitch walks uncertainly into the room and looks at Blanche]

Blanche [softly, audible only to the doctor and the audience]: Mitch

[outside the room someone excitedly yells, “Groundhog Phil is coming out of his burrow. Turn up the radio volume!”]

[Blanche gets up]

[It’s Only A Paper Moon plays, decrescendo]

Mitch: Hello Blanche [he walks over to where she is standing]

[Doctor retreats to the shadows of the room]

Blanche [laughs gaily, surprised yet delighted expression on her face]: Shep! My darling Shep, how nice of you to come and visit me! It’s been too long my dear. I haven’t seen you since our little rendez-vous in Miami!

Mitch: Blanche, I –

[Blanche interrupts]

Blanche [laughs with delight, takes her index finger and draws a line from Mitch’s right shoulder to his chest in a sensual manner]: Why, Mr. Shep Huntleigh, no need to explain. I know you have not forgotten little old me, but rather have just been too busy with your oil wells to come and visit. [continues dreamily] What must I thank for you to come and grace us with your presence today? [breathlessly] I know vous voulez coucher avec moi but we cannot ce soir because I don’t want people, especially the good doctor who has been so kind to me to think - to think that I am less than a respectable woman; this just isn’t Miami you know. [she walks back to her chair, sits down and looks out the window, quiet for a moment]

[Mitch shakes his head sadly and leaves the room]

Doctor [clears his throat, inquisitive]: Why did you do that Blanche?

Blanche [smiles sadly, bends down to the table, lights a candle and holds it to her face]: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers and I will continue to do so. As my heart beats I know it is time for me to face the light.

[outside the room someone excitedly yells, “ Groundhog Phil isn’t heading back to his burrow! Doesn’t see his shadow!]

[the distant sunlight shines warmly through the window]

Word count:989




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