Great Characters Wiki

"Whoever you are, I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers." ― Blanche's most famous line

Blanche DuBois is the main character of the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, by the late Tennessee Williams. She is a fading "Southern belle" who arrives, penniless, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to stay with her sister Stella and her husband, Stanley Kowalski. The conflict between the refined, but desperate, Blanche and the brutish Stanley, as well as Blanche's slow descent into insanity, forms the plot of the play.

Why She Rocks

  • She is the archetypal "Southern belle": refined, dignified, yet gentle and vulnerable.
  • Her conflict with Stanley is one of the most famous relationships in American theater.
  • She is sympathetic despite not being particularly likable.
  • She represents the decline and fall of the "Old South".
  • Her backstory - in which she was kicked out of her hometown for having multiple affairs to numb the grief of her closeted husband's suicide - was revolutionary at the time the play was written for its themes of homosexuality, depression, and promiscuity.
  • She has been portrayed by several great actresses, including Vivien Leigh (who won an Oscar for portraying her in the 1950 film version), Jessica Tandy, Faye Dunaway, Jessica Lange, Cate Blanchett, and Glenn Close.

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