How Is Blanche Different from Her Surroundings?

How Is Blanche Different from Her Surroundings?


Does Blanche strike you as honest? Why does Blanche lie about the liquor?

How is Blanche different from her surroundings?

Why does Blanche insult Stella’s life and home?

Have your siblings ever insulted you in a similar manner? How does it feel? What do you do?

Why do we nitpick our siblings?

Why do we fish for compliments, similar to Blanche?

How are Stella and Blanche different? How are you different from your siblings?

Is it true that death is loud and violent, but funerals are quiet? How are death and funerals different?

“Death is expensive”- is it true? Why?

Blanche feels abandoned by Stella when she leaves the plantation and leaves Blanche to run things on her own. Have you ever felt abandoned in something that matters? How does it feel? What do you do in that situation?

How do we, like Stanley, evaluate people with a glance? How does that effect how we treat them?

What are your standards for whether or not you flirt with someone?

Is it true we can’t describe the people we love? Why would it be difficult?

Scene 2

Why does Stanley pick Blanche apart?

What do Stanley and Blanche talk about?

How are Stanley and Blanche different? Similar?

Why does Blanche get angry about the letters? What tokens do you have from ones you love? What would you do if someone tried to look at them or take them?

What is it like to lose something or someone you love? What are different ways people grieve?

What do you think Blanche has done to try to grieve her loss?

Why do you think Stanley blurts out that Stella is pregnant? Is he being manipulative?

Do you think Blanche is manipulative?

What are each of their end-games?

Socratics: Scene 3-5

Why do women find men like Stanley attractive even though they treat women poorly?

Are people more sincere when they’ve experienced sorrow? Why or why not?

Are people shallow who’ve never experienced sorrow or hardships?

Is it ever okay to lose your temper? What is justifiable to do when you’re mad? Where is the line drawn?

Can anything justify violent anger?

Stella mentions “same as last time”- this has happened before- why do you think Stella stays?

Do you agree with her that she should stay with Stanley?

Blanche says she looks at “money in terms of what it can do for you”- Is this a good way to look at money? How should we view money?

p.1844 Blanche says to Stella “only way to live with such a man (Stanley) is to go to bed with him”- is that true? Why or Why not?

What does it say about Stella’s character that she cleans-up after Stanley and stays with him?

Who is the stronger woman-Blanche or Stella?

Stanley doesn’t give Stella money, perhaps as a way to control her, what other controlling things does he do?

Describe the perfect gentleman. How does that image contrast with Stanley? Why does Stella still choose to be with him?

What do you think Shaw has to say about Blanche?

What do you think Blanche means when she says “I’ve got to be good and-keep my hands off children”- Do you think it’s connected to the rumors she mentioned earlier?

Scene 6

Why won’t Blanche discuss her age? What does her age represent?

How has Blanche’s secret shaped her?

p.1858 “sometimes there’s God- so quickly” - what does that mean?

Do you think there could ever be a future for her and Mitch?

Scene 7 & 8

Do you think everything they’ve said about Blanche is true?

What would cause her to have an affair with a 17yr old student?

“I’m the king around here, so don’t forget it”- how does this quote represent Stanley?

Blanche seems to have some sort of psychological disorder-what do you think it is? In what ways is Blanche alone?

What would you do if you were Blanche?

Stella says “no one was as tender and trusting as she was (Blanche), but people like you abused her hand forced her to change.” -What experiences do you think made Blanche the person she is?

scene 9-10

Blanche seems to have some sort of psychological disorder-what do you think it is? In what ways is Blanche alone? What would you do if you were Blanche?

Stella says “no one was as tender and trusting as she was (Blanche), but people like you abused her hand forced her to change.” -What experiences do you think made Blanche the person she is?

p.1866- beg. of scene 9- Who is Blanche when no one is watching vs. when there are people? How do we often live to lives-public and private-how has that changed since the advent of social media. How has it gotten more complex?

How are you different publicly vs. private?

What moment plays in Blanche’s mind?

WHat is it like to play a moment or song over and over in your mind? What songs sticks in your mind the most or longest?

What could Blanche loving dark/dim rooms symbolize?

Blanche says “I tell what ought to be true”- which is better- TRUTH or what OUGHT to be true? Which do you want to hear? Which way do you want to live?

p.1869 How can you lie with your mouth, but not in your heart? Is it possible?

How are death and desire opposites?

How would you feel if you were Blanche at the end of sc. 9? Is she a product of her choices or do you pity her? Both? How?

How does the way Blanche dresses contrast with her reputation in Laurel? How do we dress to cover who we are? How does our clothing represent us?

How would you feel if you were going to have a kid and your spouse when home to sleep?

Why does Blanche lie about receiving a telegram from an old beau?

Is it hard in plays to tell the difference between what people say and what is actually true? Why?

p.1872- “Physical beauty is passing. A transitory possession. But beauty of the mind and richness of the spirit and tenderness of the heart...aren’t taken away, but grow! Increase with years.”- Is it true? Which is better? Which would you honestly rather have?

Blanche says “deliberate cruelty is unforgivable” - Do you agree or disagree? What, if any, are “unforgivable things”? How does our religious identity change our idea of forgiveness?

Do you pity Blanche at the end of sc. 10? What do you think of Stanley?

If you could write the ending, what would you want to happen?

Sc. 11

Stella says “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley”

If Blanche told her, why does Stella still not believe? Why do we sometimes refuse to believe the truth?

Blanche is always bathing and never felt fully clean- what does this symbolize? How can this symbolize life?

Why does Stella let her sister go? Why does she stay with Stanley? What do these choices say about her? What would you do if she were your sister?

What kind of life do you think her new baby will have?

What are ways Blanche and Stella debunk female stereotypes? How do they reinforce them?

Are there any likeable characters?

Is it better or worse that Blanche doesn’t die?

Does the ending feel just?

What would’ve been a right or just ending?

Are these characters realistic or caricatures and stereotypes?

Who is the victim?

What is desire? What does it make us do?

WHy would Williams tell the story of these flawed, broken people?

Why is there a double standard with relationships- older man with a younger woman vs. and older woman with a younger man?

The now famous line “I always depend on the kindness of strangers” is supposed to summarize Blanche’s character. What does it mean? Is it wrong to depend on others?

How is Blanche’s name, which means “white” ironic?

Can people outside of a close relationship really understand the relationship and why people are together or stay together?

What’s the moral/what are we to learn or take away from this?