Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
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Studyworld Studynotes
\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Streetcar Named Desire, A:
Scene 9

This scene begins a few hours after Stella has gone into labor. Blanche has been drinking steadily and is sitting in a bedroom chair, wearing her scarlet satin robe. The Varsouviana polka tune is playing again softly in the background. Mitch comes around the corner and rings their apartment. Blanche is startled at the sound, and the music stops when Mitch announces his presence. Blanche is surprised that he has shown up and dashes around the apartment, hiding the bottle of liquor and putting on make-up and perfume before opening the door. She is so excited that she rushes to the door to let him in, but when she offers him a kiss, he coldly rejects her and brushes by her.
It is obvious that Mitch has also been drinking, but in contrast to the usual puppy-dog look that he has on his face when he is around Blanche, he seems angry and sullen. She offers him a drink, but he tells her that he doesn't want any of Stan's liquor. She thinks that Mitch is upset because she assumes that his mother is ill, but he refuses to tell her what is wrong. She is so upset and confused by Mitch's reaction that she imagines that the Varsouviana has started up again, and she incoherently mutters something about hearing music, which confuses Mitch because he can't hear it. She imagines that she hears a revolver shot in the background, and then the music in her mind stops.
Mitch thinks that she has gone crazy, and Blanche continues to try to play hostess. She asks Mitch why he hadn't come to her birthday dinner, and he admits that he had thought that he wasn't going to see her anymore. Blanche pretends that she doesn't hear this, and she continues to hunt around the apartment for liquor that she can serve. She finds a bottle of Southern Comfort and serves it to them, even though she claims that she doesn't know what it is. When she begins to drink it, Mitch warns her that she should put it away because Stanley has told him that she drinks all his liquor like a "wild-cat."
Mitch comments on how dark it is in the room and slowly tells her that he has never seen her in the daylight. Every time that he had tried to make plans with her in the afternoon, she had made up some lame excuse to not see him, and he has finally realized that he has never had a good look at her before because he has only seen her at nighttime. She seems alarmed by this statement and asks her why he would ever want to see her in the daylight. He aggressively tears the paper lantern off the overhead light, leaving just the naked bulb to expose what Blanche looks like in plain light. Blanche tells him that she just wants magic in her life and that she has the right to tell people what ought to be, not what really is. She misrepresents things to people because she wants to give them what they want to believe.
Mitch scrutinizes her in the light, and she desperately covers her face to prevent him from seeing her. Once he sees her face clearly and sees how old she really is, he bitterly tells her that he doesn't mind that she had lied about her age - but he was angry with her for lying to him about her purity. Blanche knows that Stanley has told him things about her, and Mitch tells her that he hadn't wanted to believe what Stanley had told him but had checked out the stories himself to make sure that they were true. He had talked to a merchant from Laurel named Kiefaber, and his story had matched what Stanley had heard.
He tells her that he knows about her days at the Flamingo, and she informs him that she had stayed at a place named the Tarantula - the place where she brought her victims. Under the influence of the alcohol that she has been steadily drinking, she admits that she had had many sexual flings in Laurel because she had been trying to fill the empty place in her heart that was left by Allan's suicide. She even tells him that she had turned to a seventeen-year-old boy for comfort, but she hadn't been able to find anyone who could help her. She had thanked God for introducing her to Mitch because he had been so gentle and reassuring, but she realizes that she has lost him because her past had finally come back to haunt her.
Mitch accuses her of lying to him, and she assures him that in her own heart, she hadn't lied to him. While they are arguing, a blind Mexican woman comes around the corner, selling flowers for a Mexican holiday that commemorates the dead, El Dia de Los Muertos. Throughout their conversation, we can hear her calling, "Flores.Flores para Los Muertos." Blanche is murmuring, more to herself than to Mitch, recalling how she had watched her deaf mother slowly die. With this huge emotional burden on her, she had slept with the soldiers from a nearby camp who would come to their mansion every night. Her mother had no idea that she responded to their calls because she was deaf and didn't know what Blanche was doing.
The Mexican vendor slowly drifts off into the distance, and Mitch gets up, puts his hands on her, and tries to turn her towards him. She asks him what he is doing, and he tells her that he plans on taking what he has been missing all summer. Blanche asks him to marry her, and Mitch tells her that he would never marry her because she is not clean enough to bring home to his mother. Stung, Blanche immediately tells him to leave and begins to shout, "Fire! Fire!" to make him leave. He finally staggers out of the apartment, leaving Blanche alone and crushed.

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