Book Notes Scene 8 Notes from A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 8

Stanley, Blanche, and Stella are seated at the kitchen table having a birthday dinner for Blanche. The fourth seat meant for Mitch is vacant. Blanche tries to cover up the melancholy by talking a lot and saying that this is the first time in her entire life she has ever been stood up by a man.

Topic Tracking: Loneliness 7

She asks Stanley to tell a story to break the ice. He refuses. Blanche decides to tell a story and Stella supports her. She tells a parrot story with a little punch line that Stanley ignores and Stella feigns laughter.

Stella comments that Stanley is making a pig of himself with the greasy food at the table. Stanley throws his plate down onto the floor. "That's how I'll clear the table!"Scene 8, pg. 212. He erupts by stating that he is the king, and storms out of the room.

Topic Tracking: Violence 8

Blanche is worried and asks Stella what happened earlier while she was in the bathroom. She thinks it was something about Mitch and why he didn't come. She plans to call him on the phone to find out. Stella dissuades her from doing so, but she calls and leaves a message for him anyway. Stanley grabs Stella lovingly telling her that everything will be fine as soon as Blanche leaves. Everyone goes back to the room to light Blanche's candles. Blanche tells her not to light them. She thinks candles should be saved for babies' birthdays.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 13

Blanche complains that she shouldn't have called Mitch. Stanley complains about the steam in the bathroom. Blanche complains that she apologized three times already. Stella is quiet and in pain. Stanley presents Blanche with her birthday present. It is a bus ticket back to Laurel for Tuesday. She is shocked and runs offstage coughing, gagging, and crying.

Topic Tracking: Loneliness 8

Stella is angry with Stanley for being so cruel to Blanche. She tries to explain Blanche to Stanley by describing their youth. She tells him that she used to be so kind and trusting, but men like Stanley forced her to change into her present state. The two fight a little more and Stanley reminds Stella of their love, their passion.

"When we first met, me and you, you thought I was common. How right you was, baby. I was common as dirt. You showed me the snapshot of the place with the columns. I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it, having them colored lights going! And wasn't we happy together, wasn't it all okay till she showed here?" Scene 8, pg. 215

Topic Tracking: Opposing Backgrounds 12

Stanley continues his pleadings and Stella pulls away. She returns to him in pain asking him to take her to the hospital. They walk offstage as Stanley supports her with love.

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