New condition of Blanche’s imaginative world is the complete
New Orleans is an ideal backdrop to the condition that influences the main characters, such as Blanche. Williams uses the stage directions and setting in scene 1 to demonstrate the importance of setting to enhance the characterization of change within the characters. He describes the slums of New Orleans using sensory and descriptive language, such as “redolence of bananas and coffee”, which encapsulates the vivid exuberance of New Orleans. When Blanche arrived at New Orleans, she was already mentally unstable and seemingly out of place in a rapidly evolving world. Williams also describes the environment as “a kind of lyricism and gracefully that attenuates the atmosphere of decay”, which is inherent to Blanche’s condition. This is one way in which the setting of New Orleans holds importance in the thematic growth and characterizations within the drama.Furthermore, New Orleans and Stanley’s apartment is crucial as it provides a stark contrast to the world of Blanche. Belle Reve, the plantation that Stella and Blanche used to live in, is never seen in the play, except through Blanche’s eyes. It exists in the past, and more significantly, Blanche’s past. This “beautiful dream” represents the illusion of the “good life” she wants back. The fairytale condition of Blanche’s imaginative world is the complete opposite of the settings of the Kowalski Apartment and New Orleans. The working class feel of the apartment and the exuberance of New Orleans creates an even greater sense of alienation for Blanche. This discordance helps to increase her own mental decay.In the end of the play, as Blanche was led to a mental hospital, she says, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Through this statement, we can understand Blanche’s disconnect to the world and those around her. It implied that Blanche feels as if she is no longer in control of her own life. She relies on anyone’s “kindness”, “whoever” it is and whether or not she knows the person. It is a statement that does not apply to the world of New Orleans, the Kowalski apartment, or the modern setting. This is a way in which setting has significance and importance in the drama.