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"Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces" (Sigmund Freud). Illusion can be a part of our lives; however, if taken to the extreme, it can lead one to forget reality. Every individual has problems in life that must be faced with reality and not with illusion, even though it might throw one into flames of fires. Tennessee Williams' play of a family reveals the strength of resistance between reality and desire, judgment and imagination, and between male and female. The idea of reality versus illusion is demonstrated throughout the play. Blanche's world of delusion and fantastical philosophy is categorized by her playful relationships, attempts to revive her youth, and her unawareness in the direction of reality of life. In Tennessee William's play, A Streetcar Named Desire, through the study of character and tropology, fantasy and illusion allow one to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is.
Blanche is a delusional character who creates life from her imagination to help her pass through the hardness of life. Blanche admits that living in fantasy is much better than living in reality. When she was talking to her lover "Mitch", she admits that the world of fantasy is much kinder as she says, "I don't want realism. I want magic!" (Williams, 117). Blanche does not care if this magic is factual or not. The importance of magic to Blanche is that she has the choice to choose fantasy which allows her to believe in and hope for something better than harsh world. She is aware of that, making the world as attractive as she imagines. This imagination leads Blanche to stay in a state of delusion making her lose beautiful things in the world. Stella, too, is a major character who lives in a world of hopes and fantasies. Stella's tears over her sister as Blanche was taken away at the end of play reveals that Stella's fantasies have been crushed by Stanley's brutality. Stella calls her sister, "Blanche! Blanche! Blanche!"(142) , as if she does not want to let go of her sister. In spite of the fact that Stanley tried to justify and to relief her, Stella knows that something acquitted and abandoned had banished. She knows that her happy and humble world and her sister's hopes had gone. Through her fantasy world, she thinks she could keep her sister for ever, but fantasy does not always work and makes life appear as it should be rather than what reality is. Also, Blanche imagines the doctor as a gentleman who is going to rescue her from a life that she imagines it as a life that does not want to accept her. Blanche finishes the play by saying, "Whoever you are-I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" (142). Blanche's irony is demonstrated for two reasons. First of all, the doctor is not a gentleman; he came to take her to a mental health care. Second of all, strangers are not kind to her; they are kind only for trade of sex. Instead, they feel sympathy for her for creating a world where she is the victim. Blanche never perceives stranger's kindness as something that people take advantage of. Instead, she thinks that Stanley is the one who does not treat her well, although he wanted her to be treated. To conclude, Blanche and Stella's characters reveal that illusion allows one to believe in what they want to and hope for what they want to. Likewise, this is demonstrated through tropology in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Blanche's fantasy world allows her to imagine that she is a victim in this world as people who love her treat her badly, although it is not true, for those people are trying to help her. She sings like she believes she is, "From the land of the sky blue water, they brought a captive maid!"(33). Blanche uses a metaphor to compare herself to a captive maid who is imprisoned by her loved people. Blanche's delusions make her believe that people wants to imprison her. Because of this, she could not make friends nor has a social life. Instead, she is imprisoned by her own thoughts and fantasies. Her thoughts make her a captive maid who is treated badly by people. Blanche's superiority and inability to believe that she has a low social status causes her to have a life that she wanted it, but does not have it. She believes that nobody has a higher social status other than her as she mentions, "Oh, I guess he's just not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he's what we need to mix with our blood now that we've lost Belle Reve." (44). Blanche compares Stanley as a first human who did not know the civilization, but knew how to survive. She compares herself to civilized human who knows how to look attractive and knows how to appreciate materials such as jasmine perfume. She thinks that Stanley would be good now to stay with him since he is becoming higher in the social status. So, she is using him for her own desire. However, deep in herself, she thinks that Stanley is not higher in social status which makes her have a fantasy between herself where she is higher and that leads to the life she wants or she thinks she wants. Also, Blanche starts the play with mentioning which road she chose. She says," They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, then transfer to one called Cemeteries...get off at Elysian Fields!" (15). This is a symbol of Blanche's life. Her whole life is about how to look attractive and attracts young boys and this is desire. It is a symbol of how she took the road called desire and walked on it. She chose that particular road for her own desires. However, this desire is living in a fantasy, illusional world. Also, the name of "Elysian Fields" proposes a place of amity, contentment and relaxation, and that is the imaginary that Blanche was looking for. This causes her to live in a world which she wants it, but it is not the reality. Finally, Blanche's superiority and wanting the life to appear as it should be leads her to live in a world full of hopes and fantasies which is farer than realism.
To conclude, illusion and fantasy allow one to live in a world full of hopes and let it appear as it should rather than what it is. Through the study of character and tropology, that is demonstrated in A Streetcar Named Desire. Firstly, Blanche admits that living in fantasy is much kinder and better. Secondly, Stella does not accept the fact that her sister has mental issues and thinks that her hopes will not be destroyed. Thirdly, Blanche thinks that strangers are the ones who will rescue her; instead they want her for sex. Fourthly, Blanche believes that the ones who love her are trying to imprison her and make her work like a maid imprisoned by them. Fifthly, Blanche's superiority in social status was an obscure in her way of having a good social life. Last but not least, Blanche symbolizes the road she chose in life- desire and fantasy- which led her to her final downfall.