Applying Jean-Paul Sartreʼs Theory of “Bad Faith” to Tennessee Williamsʼ A Streetcar Named Desire: An Existential Study

Pegah Ghanbari, Razieh Hashemi


Blanche felt being trapped in a world in which she cannot extricate herself by any means, so she preferred to be ruled and defined by others, an inclination Sartre named “bad faith”, letting others define her character, whether the past, her sister, her beloved or her traditional way of thinking that every woman is in need of a male protector; that is why she tried to hide her past, for she thought its disclosure would be an obstacle in her way to ensnare a man so she tried to deceive herself and others into thinking she is what she wanted to be but felt unable and implausible to be. Self deception from which Blanche is suffering, is a form of bad faith. She lived in a world of fantasy with a mask of pretension which was shattered by the harsh reality at the end, when she was driven to an asylum due to her neurotic behavior and mental breakdown for all the pressures she imposed upon herself to keep up appearance but ended up in ruining her instead of saving her.

Key words: Existentialism; Bad Faith; Self-deception


Existentialism; Bad Faith; Self-deception


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