takes frequent baths throughout the play to “soothe her nerves.” Bathing is an escape from the sweaty apartment: rather than confront her physical body in the light of day, Blanche retreats to the water to attempt to cleanse herself and forget reality. Blanche’s constant washing is reminiscent of Lady Macbeth’s famous hand-washing scene in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
, in which the queen tries and fails to wash the blood from her guilty hands. Blanche also seeks rejuvenation, as though the bathwater were a Fountain of Youth. But although bathing may provide a temporary respite, she can never escape the past. In contrast with Blanche’s use of bathing to escape reality, the men dunk Stanley
in the shower to sober him up so that he face the real world.