Notes on A Streetcar Named Desire Themes

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A Streetcar Named Desire Topic Tracking: Lies/Honesty

Scenes 2 and 3

Lies/Honesty 1:Stanley tells Stella about the Napoleonic Code. He believes he is swindled if she is swindled. He also believes that Blanche is lying to them both about the loss of Belle Reve. However, he also violates trust and truth by rummaging through Blanche's trunk.

Lies/Honesty 2: Blanche admits that she fibs a lot and believes it to be part of womanhood. However, she adds that when a matter is important she does not lie and would never lie to or swindle her family. She tells the truth about her own lying up-front, acknowledging her small faults.

Scenes 4 and 5

Lies/ Honesty 3: Blanche writes a letter to Shep Huntleigh that is stuffed with little lies about her life. She admits to Stella in jest that she is a liar. Blanche sees these personal falsifications to be harmless white lies that simply complement her and help her self-confidence. Blanche's lies give her the life she dreams of living.

Lies/Honesty 4: Stanley mentions a man and place from Blanche's past and tests her honesty by asking about him. She tells him that she does not know him and would also never be seen in a hotel like the Flamingo. However, she is nervous and does know the things about which Stanley speaks, which implies that she is lying. Stanley knows the truth and so does Blanche.

Lies/Honesty 5: Blanche tells Stella that she wants to deceive Mitch into wanting her. She wants to affect someone else through a type of deception or lie. This lie will make Blanche feel better about herself.

Scenes 7 and 8

Lies/Honesty 6: Stanley tells Stella all of the dirty details on Blanche's past. Stella claims that they are all lies and he should not be spreading them. Stanley doesn't believe them to be lies, but Stella will not accept them as truth. He tries to show her that Blanche is the liar in this situation. Blanche is the one who has been hiding the truth from her sister.

Lies/Honesty 7: The rest of the information about Blanche is a second lie. Stanley says that Blanche lied about resigning from her teaching position. She was mixed up with a seventeen-year-old boy and was forced to leave town. Stella still will not believe Stanley's stories.

Lies/Honesty 8: When Blanche comes out of the bathroom, she can tell that Stanley has told Stella something disturbing about her. She feels the truth in the room. Stella tells a white lie to Blanche to cover up her feelings. She tells Blanche that everything is all right, when it truly is not.

Scenes 9 and 10

Lies/Honesty 9: Stella tells Stanley that Blanche did not lie completely to Mitch. She may have lied about her past, but she never lied about her feelings. Her heart was always honest. Although Blanche may tell lies, she is emotionally honest with the people she cares about.

Lies/Honesty 10: Blanche lies again to Stanley, telling him that she received a wire from Shep Huntleigh inviting her to go on a Caribbean cruise. Stanley does not believe her, but goes along with her story anyway. Blanche seems to believe her lie and story so much that it becomes her truth.

Lies/Honesty 11: Blanche lies to Stanley to make herself feel and appear better than her present state allows. She tells Stanley that Mitch came by to apologize, but she turned him down. Stanley knows exactly where Mitch was at that time and can prove Blanche's lie. This confrontation leads to an argumentative and slightly violent standoff between the two in-laws.

Scene 11

Lies/Honesty 12: Blanche is packing her clothes to go on a vacation. She believes she will be traveling with Shep Huntleigh. Stella and Eunice tell her that she is vacationing in the country, which is a little white lie. They also go along with Blanche's delusions and lies for her benefit. This time they stretch the truth to help her, as opposed to changing the truth for personal gain.

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