Psychological Evaluation

Case Name: Blanche Dubois
By: Alice Cha
Alice Cha
The Street Car Named Desire
This written task based on the play Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee
Williams explores multiple themes and contradictory natures that place conflict
on a main antagonist Blanche Dubois. I have written a psychological analysis on
the mental instability of this character, and what and how she has faced her
difficulties. The purpose of this evaluation is to screen the reasons of her mental
stability and to clarify its origins. I have listed 4 traumatic experiences the
character has faced that distanced herself and reality. This character Blanche
Dubois is a character that keeps great concern of her image and relies on the
dependence of men. Her tragic act started when her young husband shot himself.
I re-live the story of this character in the point of view of a psychologist,
diagnosing her trouble. Through this task I have established an understanding of
the characters weak and vulnerable state through the influence of the victims
Word Count: 156
South Mississippi State Hospital
Psychological Evaluation
Full Name : Blanche Dubois
Case No.: 247
Room No.: 48
Admission Year:1948
Purpose of Evaluation:
Blanche Dubois is a 30 year old, single, white female who has been admitted due
to being mentally unstable. The purpose of this evaluation is to screen the
reasons of her mental stability and to clarify its origins.
Background Information:
Blanche Dubois is from Laurel, Mississippi. Used to live in Belle Reve. But
unfortunately lost her family estate mansion through debt , lead to this point due
to her family’s misuse of money and her job as a English teacher in a local high
school. She now resides in New Orleans with her sister and her brother in law,
Stella Dubois, and Stanley Kowalski.
Observation/ Evaluation:
Through observation and questioning we have concluded that Blanche’s mental
instability has been caused by 4 stressful and traumatic events. Blanche’s
avoidance of realism is believed to be the cause of her mental instability. We
believe that the lies she has created to veil the hurt of her past has consumed her
of her conscience.
First Traumatic Event:
A significant piece of the past she has revealed was that, when she was 16 years
old, she has once been married to “a boy”. But he wasn’t just a ordinary boy. He
happened to be queer. No matter how much she loved him, there seemed to be no
hope in saving him from his misery. One day she had caught her young husband
in bed with a man, in an act of sexual intercourse. On the bad side of judgement,
she ignored the fact and went on a vacation to a casino, under the influence of
alcohol. While dancing she had harshly told her her husband (Allan) that he
disgusted her. Exasperated with him self, he committed suicide. Shocked
by Allan’s horrific death, scarred, she claimed that she is to never experience true
love again.
“ He’d stuck the revolver into his mouth, and fired – so that the back of his head
had been – blown away!… It was because – on the dance-floor – unable to stop
myself – I’d suddenly said – “ You disgust me...” And then the searchlight which
had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment
since has there been any light that’s stronger than this – kitchen – candle... "
“ The “Varsouviana” The polka tune they were playing when Allan – Wait! [the
revolver shot is heard] There now, the shot! It always stops after that….”
Second Traumatic Event:
As if losing her husband wasn't enough, as time passed, everyone Blanche loved
started to slip away. Her father and relatives soon passed away, and on top of that
dueling with bankruptcy and distressed by the inevitable financial crisis, she had
to let go of the Belle Reve Estate. But what angered Blanche was when Stella ran
away to New Orleans to marry Stanley. Resenting Stella’s departure and her
choice to distance her self from her high social status. In Blanche’s perspective,
Stella’s indiscretion left blanche alone to clean up the mess of her family’s past.
Through observation we have also realized Blanches attachment and
Willingness to save Belle reeves was because this estate is a symbol and an
example of Blanches nostalgia of willingness to save Belle reeves was because this
estate is a symbol and an example of Blanches nostalgia of her past. Her husband,
wealth, beauty, and status.
"You didn’t dream, but I saw! Saw! Saw! And now you sit there telling me with
your eyes that I let the place
go! How in hell do you think all that sickness and dying was paid for? Death is
expensive, Miss Stella! “
"Which of them left us a fortune? Which of them left a cent of insurance even?
That was all, Stella! And I with
my pitiful salary at the school. Yes, accuse me! Sit there and stare at me, thinking
I let the place go! I let the place go? Where were you! In bed with your – Polack!”
Blanche is very self conscious about her appearance. In fear of aging and losing
beauty, she always presents herself as a prim and proper lady. She demands to be
in control of what people see. She is never around bright light, she wears clothes
that are originally made for young people. I believe this is because, despite her
past, she believes by presenting herself to look flawless would get others to think
of her no differently. But finding Stanley having no interest in her she looks down
on him again.
"Oh, I guess he’s just not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he’s
what we need to mix with our blood now that we’ve lost Belle Reve. "
But this isn’t the only action she keeps repeating. Another one is bathing, through
out this session she keeps insisting to take a bath or looks for a drink. Although
she says it’s only needed to calm her nerves, it is believed to be continuing in
order for her to cleanse and forget her past. Leading from this, her conflict with
Stanley duels between reality and her fabrication from lies through appearance.
Third Traumatic Event:
Blanche’s approach towards mending her broken heart wasn’t healthy from the
start, in fact creating her downfall. Stanley finding out Blanche’s stay at the
Flamingo Hotel (Whore house), and Blanche admitting her previous relations
with multiple men to forget her sorrows of losing her husband did not sit well.
Her neediness in seeking closure and comfort dealing with death has caused her
to lose her independence in herself.
“That’s where I brought my victims. Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers.
After the death of Allan – intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill
my empty heart with.... I think it was panic, just panic, that drove me from one to
another, hunting for some protection – here and there, in the most – unlikely
places – even, at last, in a seventeen-year-old boy but –“
But this wasn’t the only time she was dependent on men. Her dependence of men
first started because she enjoyed the sexual admiration (when she was young).
Now that she has aged and lost everything that use to make her who she is, her
dependence of men led to the reason of money, and to sustain her self image.
Emotionally and physically tied to men has driven her to have inappropriate
sexual relations with a 17 year old boy in high school. Still troubled by her young
husbands death, she doesn’t seem to be able to let go of the reins that connects
her with teen age boys.
"Young man! Young man! Young, young, young man! Has anyone ever told you
that you look like a young Prince out of the Arabian Nights? Well, you do, honey
lamb! Come here. I want to kiss you, just once, softly and sweetly on your mouth!
It would be nice to keep you, but I’ve got to be good – and keep my hands off
children. "
This act does not only terminate her job in high school but also her relationship
with Mitch. Whom she had expected to marry but her reputation and exploitation
of men made her undesirable and unattractive in the marriage prospect. Her
stubbornness and refusal to accept reality, Blanche sees marriage as an
only opportunity to survive and to gain back her past. Although this was another
chance for her to reflect on her behaviors, as soon as this happened she ran in to
her ex-boyfriends arms (a millionaire) Shep Huntleigh’s expecting him to pick up
her pieces and relieve her from her misery. But again was ignored and rejected.
expecting him to pick up her pieces and relieve her from her misery. But again
was ignored and rejected. Creating an even wider distance between her self and
the truth.
"There’s so much – so much confusion in the world... Thank you for being so
kind! I need kindness now. "
Fourth Traumatic Event:
The rape. Stanley's brutal behavior towards Blanche has deepened the scars in
Blanche’s nature. From wanting attention to hiding and avoiding gazes from
Stanley’s poker crew. This violation was different from her past sexual acts. This
brutal act from a man, which she didn’t know they were capable of doing. also
Destroyed her hope and dreams of reality and proved it won’t be the way she
wished. Even worse, because of Blanche’s previous behaviors and stories even her
sister Stella does not believe the words that are coming out of her mouth. After
hearing this shocking story about her beloved husband raping her sister, even
Stella now believes that Blanche is no longer lucid and is hysteric and mad. Stella
now refuses to accept her sister sanity.
We now believe the origins of her mental instability occurred when the “magic”
in her life disappeared and had to struggle with the harshness of the reality
unexpectedly. Multiple doors so far have sealed off her truth in her life. Making
lies after lies to cover up and conceal herself from naked eye, and judgment of
others. Clouded by distortions and hypocrisy we believe she won’t understand as
much of her past than we do. In order to bring her back to her mental stability
and helping her to trusting the people around her, and accepting herself for
whom she really is and help her loosen her obsessive behavior in hiding her true
self and appearance. We believe precautions should be taken such as getting her
treatment with a therapist and slowly resolving her past actions and helping her
forget those hurtful memories. This way we believe we could help her recover
without her further detaching herself from society and the gap between realities.
Word count: 1632
Work Cited:
“Idealism and Insanity.” Idealism and Insanity. N.P.n.d. WEB. 12 Feb. 2014.
“Personality Disprders.” Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton Region,.
N.P., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
“Bipolar and Obsessive compulsive Disorders in Literature:: Literature Disorder
Mental Illness Characters.” Bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders in
Literature :: Literature Disorder Mental Illness Characters. N.P.n.d. Web 13, Feb.
“Souther Bellehood (de) constructed : A Case Study of Blanche Dubois” By
BILJANA OKLOPCIC.” Americana N.p.n.d Web. 15 Feb.