A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams Summary and Analysis Scene 8

Summary

A short time later that evening, Blanche, Stella, and Stanley are finishing with Blanche's birthday party. She cannot understand why Mitch has not shown up. She tries to tell a joke, but no one laughs. Stella says that Stanley is "too busy making a pig of himself" and tells him to go wash and help her clear the table. Stanley explodes in anger, throws his plate to the floor, and warns Stella never to use such words to him again, that he is "king around here." As he leaves, Blanche demands to know what has happened. She plans on calling Mitch, but Stella asks her not to. She calls anyway, but Mitch is not at home. Stella prepares to light the birthday candles, while Stanley is complaining about the steam from the bath. The phone rings and when Stanley returns from answering it, he tells Blanche that he has a birthday gift for her. She is surprised and happy until she opens it and sees the bus ticket back to Laurel on Tuesday's bus. The polka music begins to play as Blanche is unable to do anything except flee from the room.

Stella doesn't understand why Stanley treated Blanche so brutally, especially since Blanche is so tender and delicate. In the light of Blanche's past experiences, Stanley refuses to believe that she is very delicate. Stella insists upon an explanation. Stanley reminds her that he was common when they first met and she loved it, especially at nights. And he tells Stella that they will be happy again after Blanche leaves. Suddenly Stella tells Stanley to take her to the hospital.

Analysis

Scene 8 is the scene of violence. It begins with a small birthday party for Blanche, but as Blanche waits for Mitch to arrive, Stanley and Stella know that he is not coming. Thus there is a tension in the air which explodes when Stella tells Stanley that he is making a pig of himself and that he should wash and help her clear the table. Stanley violently throws his dishes away and then announces that he is king here.

In actuality, we see in this scene that Blanche's presence is actually destroying Stanley and Stella's marriage. This type of scene would probably never have occurred if Blanche had not moved in; therefore, Stanley is fighting for his marriage.

Stanley receives his revenge in full measure when he presents the return ticket to Blanche. The Varsouviana music begins again when Blanche sees the ticket. The music reinforces her predicament here, and the audience realizes that she is now on the verge of being trapped in a situation which will equal the death of her young husband.

According to Stella, whom we must believe, Blanche was once "tender and trusting" but people abused her. Thus perhaps she has always been the type who was unfit for the world of reality.

Stanley's last remarks make it apparent that before the arrival of Blanche, things were going fine between them. We see here that part of his revenge stems from the fact that Blanche has called him dirty, a pig, ape, and similar names.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Blanche was once married to a young man who




Quiz