Free «Response: Blanche and Catherine» Essay Sample
Somehow, authors are able to touch people’s hearts while creating certain characters. It can be seen in Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire and Catherine from Proof. These two characters are very different women who still share a lot in common and attract readers and viewers to their stories.
Both women are similar because of their mental instabilities. They question themselves and try to hide their fears and insecurities. They have a dramatic past which haunts them and prevents them from being happy. Blanche has experienced many challenges and dramatic situations, and she find it hard to cope with reality. Her past led her to doing many acts she regrets. When explaining her behavior and intimacy with strangers, she states: “I think it was panic, just panic, that drove me from one to another hunting for some protection” (Williams 128). Basically, Blanche realizes that there is something wrong with her behavior and she tries to leave it in the past creating a shield from reality and protecting herself in such a way. The same applies to Catherine. She, too, is afraid of herself and feels like she is on the verge of mental breakdown. She feels like she may lose herself, and that it why she, similarly to Blanche, builds walls around herself and tries to protect herself from possible harm to her conscience. When Hal tries to break through the walls she built, Catherine replies: “You don’t know me. I want to be alone” (Auburn). Hence, it shows that she would rather stay by herself than ruin the world she created. From this perspective, both characters have a lot in common.
Nevertheless, they are very different, too. Firstly, Blanche desperately tries to free herself from her past and to do something about her life while Catherine is afraid of her future and consequences of the actions she may take (Bradford). Thus, while Blanche is out there doing something and trying to pretend nothing has happened, Catherine tries to make it look like she will never enter the world again. Thus, one woman hides her problem while the other exaggerates and focuses on it.
Both characters are different because of the conditions they live in. Blanche is surrounded by cruel people like Stanley who do not support her attempts to get back to normal life. Catherine, on the other hand, has Hal who is there to support her and help her through difficult times. If Blanche had somebody as loyal and responsible as Hal, she would be able to return to normal life. Her problem was that she trusted strangers too much, and these strangers did not deserve her trust. Hence, Blanche is left alone to fight her problems, and she is unable to do it taking into consideration constant pressure and brutality of the people around her. Catherine, on the other hand, feels the support and devotion of Hal who is there to make her more active and return to normal. He believes in her as well as assures her that there is nothing wrong with her. Thus, thanks to him, Catherine is able to deal with her mental issues and get the proof she needs. If she was surrounded by people Blanche met, she would probably had the same experience as the other character. Nevertheless, Catherine’s conditions are better leading to her success in the end.
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Hence, both characters are similar in their state of mind, but they are different because of their attitude as well as the abilities they have thanks to the people surrounding them. As a result, one character loses everything, and the other is able to conquer her fears.