The consequence of self-deception can be disastrous. Self-deception can be defined as a misconception that is favoured to the person who holds it. In an attempt to justify ones behaviour, we often, unknowingly, gloss over or even alter the truth of our past, in order to escape the feelings of guilt, embarrassment, shame, or even to protect the people around us. However, consequently, the act of self-deception can be disastrous, not only for the delinquent, but also for those around them.
This is continuously depicted in Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar named Desire, as the protagonist, Blanche Dubois, spins a web of deceitful lies to escape the painful truth of her past. It isn’t only Blanche, however, that find them self a victim of their own self -deception, struggling to free themselves from the strong hold, eventually leading to their disastrous downfall. On the other hand however, as self-deception can be extremely dangerous in certain cases, it can also help assist in delaying/preventing disasters from occurring.
As such, the act of self-deception can leave ever lasting damage, whilst, for some, preventing it, as they attempt to protect the ones they love. Remembering the past, may often be a painful and traumatic experience, as unpleasant events are recalled. As such, certain individuals may tend to try to fabricate these past events, in order to steer clear of shame or embarrassment, and escape the harsh blows of reality. In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar named Desire, the protagonist, Blanche Dubois, is depicted in a manner where she comes across as a deceitful liar as she only tells what ‘ought to be the truth’.
Blanche is somewhat ashamed of her traumatic past and the ancestor’s epic fornications lead to the loss of the family home in Belle Reve, as well as Blanche, searching for love and affection in strangers. Blanches deception to herself and the people around her, lead to her ultimate tragic downfall as she doesn’t search for realism, she wants magic in her life. Throughout the course of the play, Blanche is convinced and has deceived herself, but not the people around her, and as the light is shun over and her unpleasant past is brought to light, Blanche spirals down, consequently leading to her downfall.
In certain circumstances, an individual may attempt to supress or repress an event if it is possibly distasteful to their current reality. By choosing to supress a fraction of the truth in the event, one may hope to simply continue on living in their current reality, forcing themselves to believe what they hope to be real. In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar names Desire, Stella Kowalski decides to repress her thoughts, when her sister Blanche Dubois informed her of how she was raped by Stella’s husband Stanley.
Stella believes that if she does chose to believe what her sister has told her about her husband, Stella cannot continue living in her current reality with Stanley Kowalski. Stella however, decided to continue living a life, with the man she loves whilst having to make her own truth of the story she was told by her sister Blanche. Although, through the act of self-deception, Stella manages to continue on, living the life she loves, with the man that she loves, steering clear of the disaster she may have otherwise faced.