Book Notes Scene 3 Notes from A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 3

The poker game is in progress with Stanley, Steve, Mitch, and Pablo. The kitchen has been transformed into a colorful playground for men. Beer bottles and whiskey glasses are strewn everywhere. They play cards, drink, and quarrel along the way. Mitch complains that he must get home to his sick mother. Everyone else is married and she is all that he's got left. So, he deals himself out and goes to the bathroom quickly before he leaves.

Topic Tracking: Opposing Backgrounds 4
Topic Tracking: Loneliness 3

Stella and Blanche walk onstage through the kitchen. Blanche is nervous and worried about her appearance again as Stella continually supports and compliments her. Following her typical upper-class behavior, she tells the poker players not to get up. They do not even notice her presence. She tries to integrate herself with the men; but Stanley rudely kicks the women out, slapping Stella on her thigh. She is upset when he acts that way in front of people.

Topic Tracking: Violence 3

Blanche wants to bathe again, so she knocks on the bathroom door. Mitch exits. The two share a glance, introduce one another, and begin to talk. He returns to the poker game.

Blanche asks Stella about Mitch and whether his job is a good one, to which she responds, "No. Stanley's the only one of his crowd that's likely to get anywhere." Scene 3, pg. 174. Blanche is standing in the light and moves from it when Stella tells her so--she immediately moves back into the darkness. Blanche turns on the radio and begins to dance to a rumba that is playing. Steve tells Stanley to let the girls listen to music and enjoy themselves. Stanley won't allow it.

Mitch looks through the curtain to Blanche with awe. He excuses himself to return to the bathroom where he bumps into Blanche again and they begin to talk. They smoke cigarettes and discuss his silver inscribed cigarette case that was given to him by an old, deceased girlfriend. It has the words of a Browning sonnet inscribed inside: "And if God choose, / I shall but love thee better - after - death!" Scene 3, pg. 176. The two begin to talk about lost loves and names and Mitch tells the poker players that he is talking to Blanche and to deal him out. She tells him the origins of her name, which she treasures. "It's a French name. It means woods and Blanche means white, so the two together mean white woods. Like an orchard in spring!" Scene 3, pg. 176-77

Mitch listens to hear speak with adoration as she tells him of her profession as an old maid English teacher. He flatters her and sparks begin to fly. She tells him that she cannot stand the naked light and proceeds to place a Chinese colored paper lamp cover over the light in the room.

Topic Tracking: Opposing Backgrounds 5
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 4

Stella comes onstage out of the bathroom to see the two speaking. Blanche now turns on the radio again. Stanley screams at them to turn it off. They don't abide and a quarrel begins. Stanley turns it off and Blanche turns it on, and so on. Stanley charges into the room rips out the radio and throws it out the window. Stella is outraged and tells all the men to leave. Stanley is still drunk and upset and follows Stella outside where he hits her. Blanche is in shock, especially because Stella is pregnant. The men try to pull Stanley away, calming him down by placing him under cold shower water. Mitch leaves the stage saying, "Poker shouldn't be played in a house with women." Scene 3, pg. 178. Stella wants to leave so Blanche takes her upstairs to Eunice's to stay. Blanche is outraged and still in shock at Stanley's vulgar brutality. The men leave Stanley under the shower and exit the stage. Stanley walks hopelessly to the foot of the stairs in tears screaming, "Stella! My baby doll's left me!.... I want my baby!... Stella!... Stella!" Scene 3, pg. 179. Eunice screams down to him that she's not coming home. Stella slowly walks down the stairs to Stanley where they share teary glances. He picks her up and carries her back into the house.

Topic Tracking: Violence 4
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 5

Blanche looks for Stella but cannot find her. She cannot believe that Stella would go back to Stanley after the fight. Mitch comes to the stairs, sees her, and offers her a cigarette. She responds, "Thank you for being so kind! I need kindness now." Scene 3, pg. 181.

Topic Tracking: Loneliness 4

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