Not In My Heart Essay

1285 words - 6 pages

The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams tells the story of a troubled woman, Blanche, who comes to stay with her sister, Stella, who is in a violent abusive marriage with her brutish husband, Stanley. Blanche chooses how she wants to view herself to provide comfort and security regarding her personality and choices so she does not have to face the actuality of her situation. Stella deludes herself into believe that her relationship is safe and loving to justify bringing a child into the world who will have a physically and emotionally abusive father. Blanche and Stella commit to their delusions so extremely that when they attempt to prove to one another that their lies and ...view middle of the document...

Blanche has so fully committed to her delusions that she believes she “didn’t lie in [her] heart”. (147) Blanche picks and chooses what she wants to believe about herself so that she does not have to face the unforgiving reality of her character and behavior. This delusion allows Blanche to feel good about what she has become. If she were to accept the truth about her husband, she would have to start telling people that her husband was gay and how and why he killed himself, and that would be too embarrassing for Blanche to handle. Blanche’s delusions revolve around herself and usually only affect her start of mind, but Stella’s delusions relate the the behavior of her husband and the safety of her child.

Stella refuses to believe the actuality of her violent relationship so that she can allow herself to continue her marriage and living with Stanley with her new child. Although Stanley, publicly in front Blanche and his poker buddies, “gives a loud whack on [Stella’s] thigh”, Stella decides to forgive him and after being taken to Eunice’s apartment “slips down the rickety stairs” back into Stanley’s arms. (50, 67) When Blanche reacts to this violent outburst the next morning with the suggestion that they pack up and leave Stanley, Stella tells her that when she returned to her husband “he was good as a lamb” and “very ashamed of himself.” (72) Even though the reality of Stanley’s actions are violent and inappropriate, Stella always returns to him and forgives him when he shows the slightest demonstration of remorse. Stella is a typical battered woman who returns to her husband as soon as her tells her he’s sorry and that he loves her after beating her. She will always choose to keep the stability and security of her current life than choosing a safer life for her and her child. Stella decides to continue of the easy route of ignoring the abuse in her marriage because if she chose the healthier option of divorcing Stanley, she would have to work and find a place to live. Placing herself and her child in an unhealthy position allows Stella to further her delusion of a loving and happy family. Blanche and Stella refuse so completely that they cut ties from each other to continue their precious deluded lives.

Stella and Blanche abandon each other so they can avoid the reality of their flawed lives and continue living deluded lives. After Stanley rapes Blanche and Stella’s child is born, Stella refuses to believe Blanche because she “couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley.” (165) Stella chooses to continue to delude herself into believing...

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