A few hours later, Blanche is much drunker and is packing her trunk to leave. She is wearing a dirty and crumpled white gown and a pair of scuffed silver slippers and looks absolutely outrageous. After placing a gaudy rhinestone tiara on her head, she pretends that she is talking to a group of admirers. She suggests to her imaginary friends, who are also apparently drunk, that they take a swim together. She lifts a hand mirror closer to her face and suddenly slams the mirror face down so that she ends up breaking it.
Stanley enters the apartment and gives a low whistle when he sees Blanche in her gown. He has also been drinking and has brought a few quart bottles of beer home with him. Blanche immediately asks him how Stella is doing, and Stanley tells her that the baby wouldn't come until morning, so the doctors had sent him home to get some rest. Blanche seems alarmed that she and Stanley are going to be alone in the apartment together, and she tells him that she had received a telegram from an old admirer of hers named Shep Huntleigh - he had apparently invited her to go with him on a cruise of the Caribbean on a yacht. Stanley eyes the tiara and gown that she is wearing and asks her if they had been gifts from admirers, and he obviously seems very skeptical of this invitation from her old beau. He opens another bottle of beer and offers her some, saying that they both have reason to celebrate because she has found an oil millionaire, and he is having a baby the next day.
Stanley goes into the other room to change into the red silk pajamas that he had worn on his wedding night and seems absolutely thrilled for himself because he is confident that he will be a father in the morning. Blanche tells him that she can't wait to be with Shep Huntleigh because she has so much to offer and that she has had to waste her beauty and talents and virtues on men who couldn't recognize how amazing she is. She tells him that Mitch had stopped by with a box of roses to apologize for his foolishness, but she had dismissed him because they are simply too different and incompatible. Stanley senses that she is lying and asks whether she had gotten the telegram from Shep before or after Mitch had come, and when she stumbles on her answer, he suddenly accuses her of lying to him.
He attacks her for wearing such a tacky, ragtag outfit, and Blanche doesn't know how to respond to his criticism. He tells her that he has been suspicious of her from the start and that he has always known that she is a liar. He barges into her bedroom, and a frightened Blanche goes to the telephone and tries to call Shep Huntleigh, but she doesn't have his number or his address. When she hangs up the phone, Stanley enters her room, and she suddenly becomes terrified of his imposing physical presence. She wants to keep a physical distance between the two of them, and Stanley laughs at her for thinking that he would even want to interfere with her. He then laughs softly, even evilly, and remarks that it might not be so bad to interfere with her, after all.
Blanche begins to back away from him in terror, and she smashes a beer bottle so that she is waving the jagged top at him to keep him away from her. It is obvious, though, that Stanley is in control of the situation, for Blanche is backed into a corner, and Stanley is advancing towards her. He asks her if she wants some rough-house and springs toward her, overturning the table and taking the broken bottle out of her hand. He tells her that they have had a date with each other from the beginning, and she moans helplessly. He picks up her motionless body and carries her to the bed - and then rapes her.
Browse all book notes|
Points to Ponder
Did You Know