's character in Tennessee Williams
' 1949 play A Streetcar Named Desire
. Leigh played Blanche both on stage and, alongside Marlon Brando
, in the famous film version.
Blanche Dubois is a neurotic nymphomaniac dipsomaniac. One of the key elements of A Streetcar Named Desire is her mental turmoil. She sees the life she once led - that of a Southern belle - slipping away from her. Blanche tries in vain to hold on to it: retreating to a dream world of summer tea-parties and beautiful ball gowns. When it all gets too much for her, Blanche resorts to alcoholism. She also indulges in sexual relations with near-strangers, in an existential attempt to prove her own existence and its importance.
Blanche is a tragic figure whom it is difficult not to pity. At the end of the play, she confesses that she has always relied on "the kindness of strangers". This statement describes perfectly the life that Blanche, a "moth" lives. She is so weak that only others can save her. Because she is in close proximity to Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando), she ends her days a sad old has-been in a mental institution. He is the flame to which the moth is so attracted, but which will eventually destroy her.
Thanks to Peter Cash, my English teacher