Shadows represent the dream-world and the escape from the light of day. Initially, Blanche
seeks the refuge of shadows and half-light to hide from the harsh facts of the real world. When Blanche first sees Stella
, she insists that Stella turn the overhead light off: “I don’t want to be looked at in this merciless glare!” But at the end of the play, shadows become menacing to Blanche. When Stanley
approaches Blanche to rape her, his shadows overtake hers on the wall before he physically overpowers her. In the play’s final scene, when the Doctor and Matron come to escort Blanche to the asylum, shadows contribute to the jungle-like, mad atmosphere. Rather than representing a longed-for escape from reality, shadows become a threatening element.