Your job is to write a minimum 250-word response to the discussion post that was put up for Wednesday. You may also initiate a new topic of conversation if there’s something you’re interested in. This is a requirement. Post by 5PM to be counted “present” for the day.
The first three scenes of this play seem to be mostly set-up, with a variety of characters getting introduced. Stella and Blanche seem to be close as sisters, but with the time apart it’s evident that a lot has happened between them both. From what I understand, it seems like Blanche had to experience her family members dying, and losing their childhood property “Belle Reve.” It must have taken a big tole on her, along with her teaching job, because she is seemingly always faint and fatigued and weak. I thought it was interesting how they always had to accommodate for her feeling ill in some way. The dialogue in the play reads sort of weird, but I’m assuming it is because of the time and place in which the play is set. Lots of the characters are sassy and sarcastic, something I’m not used to in a play.
At first, I thought Stanley was a cool character, that was all manly and funny, but after the first three scenes I already dislike him. His character and personality stands out as something that will probably create conflict among some of the characters later on. Honestly, he’s kind of a tool. I feel like the first three scenes set him up to be some sort of antagonist. He has never met Blanche before, and was immediately questioning her about the loss of their property and accusing her of some sort of fraud. I feel like that won’t be the first time they have some sort of altercation with the ease in which Stanley started the first one.
The dynamic of male superiority is also interesting. Stanley asked Stella for his dinner like he just expected her to provide everything for him, although that might just be because of the family atmosphere in the 1940s. The whole Napoleonic code that Stanley kept talking about felt like it was introduced just so Stanley could gain part of whatever Stella owned before. Also, during the poker game when everything got chaotic and Stanley smacked his wife, characters like Mitch just kept repeating that ‘poker shouldn’t be played in a house with women.’ To me, it felt like it was beating on a dead horse, repeating over and over that girls can’t play poker and shouldn’t be around.
I thought it was interesting how everyone restrained Stanley when he hit Stella, but they were also quite casual about it. It seems like it wasn’t the first time it had happened because of the way everyone handled the situation. I wonder if it’ll be a bigger plot point later that maybe Stanley isn’t a very good husband.
The first three scenes also seem to be setting up some sort of love interest between Blanche and Mitch. If my suspicions are right and Blanche has more altercations with Stanley, I think it will be sort of polarizing for their group of characters if Blanche starts liking Mitch and they start potentially getting closer.
1. Why is Blanche so nervous and faint during the beginning of the play? Is it due to them losing their family home? Does this mean that something large happened and it just wasn’t explained that much, or does Blanche have some sort of health issues?
2. Do you think Stanley’s aggressive and wild personality mixed with Stella’s seemingly shy and reserved nature will pose problems for the two of them? Will it create some sort of rift between Stanley and Blanche if she is trying to defend her sister?