What does the paper lantern represent? What does Stanley/Mitch ripping the lantern down represent? He crosses to the dressing table and seizes the paper lantern, tearing it off the light bulb, and extends it towards her. She cries out as if the was herself. (176) Mitch: “This one with the paper thing on it.” [ He tears the paper lantern off the light bulb. She utters a frightened gasp] (144).
The paper lantern lessens the intensity of the naked light bulb. To Blanche, a paper lantern represents the façade she has created. It is all of her lies, magic, and hidden truths that conceal her from the harsh reality of herself. When the men of the play rip off the paper lantern, they are really ripping away Blanche’s false reality. Her reality is actually a fantasy world that hides the unwanted truth.
How does the meaning/importance of dark and light differ for the different protagonists and antagonists of the play? Additionally, how do Oreos parallel Blanche? You may eat one to help you discover the answer.
Light reflects Blanche and Stanley’s personalities. Blanche possesses an aversion to light to hide her aging and the reality she tries to cover up and forget. Stanley is very blunt and open about his life, hiding nothing and very content with reality. He also wants to shed light on others like when he reveals Blanche’s covert past. An Oreo is darkness surrounding light. Blanche uses darkness to mask reality, which is what light represents. So, like the Oreo, Blanche’s inner-truth is covered by darkness.
How does Blanche’s past affect her ability to tolerate light?
Do shadows or cries have a different meanings/ connotations than just the dark?
How does the continual appearance of light and dark contribute to one’s overall understanding of the play/ what is the significance of light and dark?