Theme of Deception
Theme of Deception Deception is a concept that has a very obvious form, but also a very in depth form. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire the theme of deception weaves its way into the main story line in two major ways; The obvious one being Stanley Kowalski’s lying and the underlying deception that goes on inside of Blanche DuBois’s mind. Stanley Kowalski is the perfect example of a deceptive person. He tries to present himself as an honest, loving husband when he is everything but. In reality, Stanley is a lying, unfaithful, and abusive husband to his wife Stella.
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In fact, he has Stella wrapped around his finger. So much so that she overlooks his drunken abusiveness and makes herself believe that that is really what love is. One interprets Stanley’s unfaithfulness by his willingness to rape Blanche. If he is so willing to have sex with his wife’s own sister, then it is easily determined that he has no problem sleeping with other women when he is away from home weeks at a time. And how can one forget his biggest deception of all? The fact that he did in fact rape Blanche but lies to Stella about it and makes her sister seem unnecessarily crazy.
Although Stanley’s ways seem to take the front seat in the deception department, it is, however, not the biggest deception portrayed in the play. The most deceit shown in the play is that going on in Blanche’s own mind. The most lying that Blanche does is not with others but with herself. Blanche goes through a traumatic experience at a very young age and to protect her mind and her heart she shields herself from the harsh realities of the world. Her self-deception comes with her inability to let reality overcome her fantasies.
At a certain point Blanche does reveal to Mitch that she fibs about her life because she “refuses to accept the hand that fate has dealt her. ” By that, she means she does not wish to accept the fact that the boy she was once in love with was gay and ultimately killed himself because of her. It made her feel guilty and undesirable while led to her obsession with youth and wanting to be loved by another man. Lying to herself and to others allows her to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is.
When Stanley refuses to “have the wool pulled over his eyes” and believe Blanche’s lies, she is not sure how to deal with facing the reality of what her life has actually become. As most know, deception always leads in disasters and heartbreak. Stanley’s deception will ultimately lead to an unhappy marriage and possibly an unhappy life, while Blanche’s deception goes far deeper than that. As her realization of what she has been doing to herself is called to her attention it only pushes herself farther into her dream world for it is also too painful for her to cope with.
At the end of the play Blanche seems to have totally gone into a state of insanity when she leaves the objective world behind in order to avoid accepting reality. She walks away with the doctor seeming to be happy about what her future holds only because she is not fully aware of what will really happen to her. Blanche’s final, deluded happiness confirms, to some extent, fantasy is an important force at play in every individual’s experience, despite reality’s inevitable triumph. The most deceit that Blanche dealt with was her own which one can only believe will lead to her death.