Tennessee Williams’ novel Streetcar Named Desire, like many others, focuses on the main character with distinct traits and a special outlook on life. The novel centers on the life of Blanche DuBois, a hero who seems snobbish, lonely, and confused, among other attributes that depict her as an outsider. Blanche’s character is in the perfect place to expose the perspectives of becoming an outsider when she feels aloof and confused in a world that seems unfamiliar to her. Nonetheless, from her personality, one can reveal that being an outsider is being invisible to the realities of the society and as such is not a simple concept as one can be subjected to multiple negative factors. This as such means that being invisible is being vulnerable to multiple social and psychological pressures as an outsider.
It is difficult to make the correct definition of an outsider from the above context, but from Blanche’s character, one can define the concept of an outsider as a stranger in unfamiliar borders or an individual who does not fit in. In hindsight, judging from Blanche’s characteristics, an outsider is an individual who stands outside a particular group while looking in from afar. This may, in essence, mean living a different life from the rests of the society.
As an outsider, being invisible as can be learned from the Blanche in the book can make one blind to societal expectations. In this regard, one may live free of societal rules and regulations delving to fulfill his or her desires without minding societal opinions. For example, while the society expects women in the society to live a life that is not blemished by avoiding many male partners, Blanche lives an opposite life as she seems to be attracted to men almost in obsessive levels. The fact she does not find this strange, even going as far as noting it as the kindness by indicating that she has always relied “on the kindness of strangers” reveals the evidence that as an outsider she is blind to societal expectations hence invisible to their judgment. Moreover, failing to see a vice from a societal view can lead to catastrophic occurrence seeing as Blanche’s love for men exposes her vulnerability when she is later raped.
Blanche’s character also reveals outsiders as people in denial and thus invisible from the truth. In this regard, outsiders are brought out as persons afraid of the truth, hence will tend to tell lies so as to postpone facing reality. They can be judged as individuals afraid of learning since human beings are naturally adjudged by the society to learn from the truth as lies can be deceiving. As such, one can indicate that outsiders are individuals who do not face realities as they come, but rather live a different life from what is expected of them while offering a different picture. For instance, Blanche in the book comes out as a liar who is afraid of facing the realities of life. In hindsight, she retreats from realities by telling lies which to an extent even she knows of. For instance, she reveals to Mitch that “Never inside, I didn’t lie in my heart”, which means that she knew her lies and even lived in them but did not want to face certain realities.
Outsiders according to Blanche’s character also come out as snobbish individuals who are invisible to societal connections. In this perspective, outsiders will appear to avert social relations they deem low class and in the process come out as of high standards considering every other individual as lower than them. In retrospect, they will tend to have an exaggerated attraction to high social positions or wealth, while seeking to relate to superior people on the social ladder. Often, they will show disdain for common activities. Blanche’s snobbish nature which she poses to appear elitist can be witnessed when she lacks money and practically lives off Stanely while staying in his cramped apartment but still acts like a queen as Stanely puts it. In his lamentations, Stanely complains that despite her lack of money, Blanches adores being waited on. Perhaps the perfect evidence to Blanche’s elitist nature can be seen from her treatment of her host, Stanley as somebody primitive mainly because of Stanley’s social position.
Blanche to an extent also reveals that being an outsider is akin to being vulnerable to particular social and psychological pressures that force them to appear peripheral in the society. This means that outsiders are individuals who when faced with particular social problems become reclusive and tormented such that they appear totally separated from the community. This can be perfectly evidenced by Blanche’s behavior after the death of her husband, Allan. She appears to blame herself for the death and is psychologically tormented to the point of committing certain acts so as to fill the void left in her heart. She, for instance, confesses that after her husband’s death, Allan, “intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with”. This goes to reveal that outsiders to an extent are individuals divided from the society due to particular pressures. Even more, it reveals that such outsiders are individuals invisible to the available to other forms of rehabilitation and thus suffer silently from their stress.
In conclusion, from Blanche’s character in Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire (2009), outsiders in the society are people invisible from multiple societal dynamics. In this perspective, they are individuals in the society who live amongst other individuals but blind to their expectations. Most often, they are blinded because of particular social and psychological pressures that push them to appear reclusive and elitist. In the process, they become invisible to various societal structures and customs thus becoming vulnerable to other factors in the society.
Williams, Tennessee, Streetcar Named Desire. Modern Classics (Penguin), 2009