Appearance and Image (Michelle Byun) (Things Left Uncertain (Blanche has…
Appearance and Image (Michelle Byun)
Set in New Orleans. Although this is placed in a city that's poor, its still pictured as beautiful and ideal
Poker Night: The setting for this place seems to be seclusive and is the definition of guys night.
"raw colors of childhood's spectrum" "wear colored shirts, solid blue, a purple, a red-and-white check, a light green" "they are men at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colors"
The setting and men are filled with primary colors that are loud and obnoxious. The "raw" colors and strong/aggressive language that's being used shows how the scene demonstrates the stereotypical standards for men.
The Laurel is a place where shady things happen and Blanche stayed in the hotel The Flamingo where it's known for having not the classiest best morals.
"I had many intimacies with strangers. After the death of Allan- the intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty head with."
Things Left Uncertain
Is the reason for Stella to stay with Stan just because of love or something else?
Is Stan keeping up a "image" of a stereotypical man because he doesn't want his friends or Stella to suspect that he has an weakness or insecurity?
Blanche has an image painted for herself in what love is suppose to look like. She also keeps up a posh and ladylike appearance. Is this so that she can find a supposedly "soulmate"?
Blanche keeps referring back to her teenage love and I believe that she hasn't fully recovered from the relationship. She had the picture perfect relationship until he committed suicide. Is she trying to find a new "soulmate" in order to continue her love story?
Blanche most likely has trauma left from her past relationship because she was basically a child when she got into the relationship. "Blanche didn't just love him but worshipped the ground he walked on! Adored him and thought him almost too fine to be human!"
Is Mitch a real gentlemen with a personality that's soft and tender or is he just hiding the stereotypical male traits of his to charm Blanche?
Does Blanche even have a dead lover? Is the boy she's referring to a recent high school boy she got in trouble with.
"Well, you do, honey lamb! Come here. I want to kiss you, just once, softly and sweetly on your
She kissed a stranger although she had a date set up minutes beforehand. I believe that Blanche kissed him because he reminded her of her past teenage lover.
"There was something different about the boy, a
nervousness, a softness and tenderness which wasn't like a man's"
"(The Young Man laughs uncomfortably and stands like a bashful kid.)"
The first quote is from when she was talking about her teenage lover and the second quote is the description of the young stranger. I believe that she kissed him as a goodbye to her teenage lover. Because she wasn't able to say goodbye to her past lover, she's using the young man as a way for her to seal the relationship right before furthering her relations with Mitch.
Or did this young man remind her of the high school boy she recently got in trouble with? Is her recent trouble with school because she's still stuck in that time. Is this how she copes with her trauma?
The paper over the lamp represents Blanche's lies around her appearance and age. She would only meet Mitch after the sun goes down and even after that, only if it was somewhere dark.
If the paper on the lamp comes on, the sharp light that hits her would show her creases and wrinkles. She wants Mitch to have a picture perfect image of her in his head. "I don't want realism".
Not only is the lantern for hiding her outer appearance, it also shows how her personality was fake and so was her image. "That pitch about your ideals being so old-fashioned and all the malarky that you've dished out all summer".
Stan snatches the paper form the lantern. The plays mentions the word "seize" I believe that this was used to show how Stan is now in control of who she is and what others get to see about her.
Blanche lies about receiving an invitation to the Caribbean from one of her "admirers". She's trying to prove to Stan that she's wanted and is hard to get. "
When Blanche is asked if the man is going to make a move on her, she says that he's "...a gentleman and respects me". This is what Blanche wants in a man but doesn't have. She just wants Stan to think that she has men around like that.
She tries to act like the possessions that she owns aren't anything special. This is contradicted when Stella accidentally pours coke on one of her dresses. She screams and tries to get rid of the stain.
Double sided. She also has an tendency to go from flirty and aggressive when someone pushes her buttons "Now that you've touched them I'll burn them!"
She's very judgemental on appearances and expect people to live the lifestyle she carries out. Doesn't think about other people's situations
"Blanche, do you want him?"
"I want to rest! I want to breathe quietly again! Yes--I want Mitch... very badly! Just think! If it
happens, I can leave here and not be anyone's problem....
When Blanche is asked the question of wanting Mitch. She sounds like she doesn't want him but wants a lover. She also hides her real age and tries to look as young as possible. This is because she thinks that men are only interested in looks. She doesn't seem to be interested in deepening the relationship with Mitch by getting to know him as a person but defies their relationship to be shallow.
She's playing hard to get so that Mitch can want her. "...he thought she had never been more than kissed by a fellow!" She delays their sexual progression in their relationship so that Mitch doesn't get bored of her. "...everybody else in the town of Laurel knows all about her. She's famous in Laurel as if she was the President of the United States, only she is not respected by any party!".
She uses her posh act before in Laurel. "after two or three dates with her and then they quit... the same old lines, same old act, same old hooey!" Blanche is putting up an act even for her sister and acts like loyalty so she could be treated like a "proper lady".
"A teacher's salary is barely sufficient for her living expenses. I didn't save a penny last year and so I had to come here for the summer." She's broke and I believe that she needs to find a lover to compensate for her spendings and to sustain a stable living.
She seems to be very protective of her feelings. Although she wants the same love she had in her teenage years, she's afraid she would be hurt again.
" a girl alone in the world, has got to keep a firm hold on her emotions or she'll be lost!"
"Blanche sits in a chair very stiffly with her shoulders slightly hunched and her legs pressed close
together and her hands tightly clutching her purse as if she were quite cold"
Blanche is fooling everyone with her story and how she isn't "common".
daintily dressed. a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat
Flirty and outgoing "sprays herself with her atomizer; then playfully sprays him with it." (Sometimes fishes for compliments)
Stella lies to Blanche in saying how she's going on vacation. She eats a unwashed grape and acts like she's going to die from it. She even portrays how she's going to die at sea and how everything is beautiful. She even imagines how people are going to worry for her when she passes.
The fact that she wanted this picture perfect love story can be proven when she saw "the boy I had married and an older man who had been his
friend for years...." in bed together and yet pretended like she didn't see anything.
"-on the dance-floor--unable to stop myself--I'd suddenly said--"I saw! I know!
You disgust me..." She takes the fault of his death into her own hands because she blames herself for not "getting over it" or pretending like nothing happened.
She tried to play it slow with Mitch so like the other men in her past wouldn't leave her.
She wasn't a innocent young lady as she deemed to be. "I had many intimacies with strangers. After the death of Allan- the intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my head... panic, that drove me from one to another, hunting for some protection"
"He draws her up gently and supports her with his arm and leads her through..." "Whoever you are-- I've have always depended on the kindness of strangers". She feels safe with the doctor because he's giving her his full attention and being gentle. This is what Blanche always wanted herself to have. "She allows him to lead her as if she was blind" This shows how she has put down her walls for the doctor. She long wanted this emotional intimacy and wanted someone to want her.
Mental Illness/Insecure about her self image
During her excessive drinking, she started to dress up as her ideal "classy woman" that's respected. "She decked herself out in a somewhat soiled and crumpled white satin evening gown and pair of scuffed silver slippers... placing the rhinestone tiara on her head... murmuring excitedly as if to a group of spectral admirers." She has a problem with her self image and so in this scene she's dressing herself up as someone she wants to be
"...lifts the hand mirror for close inspection. She catches her breathe and slams the mirror face down with such violence that the glass breaks" Blanche wanted to see the woman she was dressed up as but instead she saw her true self in the mirror. She resents her own identity and refuses to accept her own body.
Her character is someone who is soft and cares for people.
She's the one who always seems to reason and calm Stanley down of his accusations and outbursts
Very macho "Since when do you give me orders?" and has a short temper. He's also very opinionated
"He jumps and jerks roughly at curtain to close them"
Stan most likely gets aggressive when someone tests his manhood and masculinity. When Stella told him to clean after himself and clear the table, he breaks the plates. "A pair of queens?...'Every man is a King!' And I am the king around here, so don't forget it,"
He has a tendency to jump to conclusions. "you're swindled under the Napoleonic code I'm swindled too. And I don't like to be
He seems to have a soft side for Stella "He falls on his knees on the steps and presses his face to her belly" especially after the news about her being pregnant.
Stan feels as if he's loosing Stella to Blanche. He thinks that Blanche is reminding Stella of the old life she use to had before meeting Stan. "...wasn't we happy together! Wasn't it all okay? Till she showed here. Hoity-toity, describing me as an ape".
He gets defensive when someone calls him a commoner or a Polack. He's very patronised and doesn't like being called anything else but American.
When his wife was at a very emotional time when Blanche was taken away to a mental hospital, he still tries to make a move on Stella. "He kneels beside her and his fingers find the opening of her blouse". This shows how Stan doesn't treat women and their feelings with respect. If Stan showed sympathy for Stella, he wouldn't have done that in a inappropriate moment like that.
In the previous scenes, Mitch is described as a gentleman and not as forward when it comes to women. Blanche admires his differences compared to the other men that are at poker night.
Mitch pulls of the gentleman facade by presenting her flowers at their date and by asking to kiss her but later shows pieces of his male stereotypes.
"now that a man can punch me in the belly and it don't hurt me. Punch me! Go on! See?"
"I weigh two hundred and seven pounds and I'm six feet one and one-half inches tall in my bare
feet--without shoes on. And that is what I weigh stripped."
His mother is passing soon and I believe that he is only trying to get with Blanche so that he could be "settled" before his mother passes. This is proven because he talked about Blanche to his mother even before the second date.
The image that is being portrayed shows beauty in simplicity.
" invests the scene with a kind of lyricism and
gracefully attenuates the atmosphere of decay"
"This "Blue Piano" expresses the spirit of the life which goes on here."
She' broke out of character when they started approaching the details of the deaths of their parent. She was pose and posh before taking about them but she seems to have a lot of troubles and feelings pushed deep inside her