- At this point in Scene One, Blanche fiercely defends herself, as if Stella has attacked her for losing Belle Reve, when in fact Stella has only asked how it happened. Read from ‘I, I,
took the blows’ to the end of the speech (Scene One, p. 12).
WHY is it important? It gives us the ‘backstory’ to Blanche losing Belle Reve, and her job. It also shows that Blanche is unbalanced and feels guilty – she is defending herself against a nonexistent attack.
WHAT themes does it explore? It clearly explores the theme of death, showing how death has affected Blanche.
HOW does it work dramatically? It shows what Blanche has been through, but it also raises the dramatic tension of the scene, and shows what a powerhouse of near-hysterical emotion Blanche is.
WHAT language techniques does it employ? Blanche uses melodramatic language, such as the metaphor of taking ‘the blows in my face and my body’, and the ironic personification of ‘the Grim Reaper’. It ends with a bitter and unjust accusation.