But in the first scene, of course, Blanche is still putting on a happy face. She babbles away at Stella, full of chipper gossip and cardboard reminiscences. Blanche deftly deflects any criticism or questioning from her younger sister, and when certain revelations become necessary (as in the telling of the loss of Belle Reve) Blanche succeeds in spinning them around so that she is breaking the news on her own terms. Her defensive strategy is to stay on the offensive – criticizing Stella's lifestyle and social standing when Blanche is in an even worse situation herself, defending herself against blame for the loss of Belle Reve before Stella can even say a word. This Blanche has been twisting and manipulating truths and lies for a long time, and her method seems at first like it will succeed in her new life as well. But then she meets Stanley.
The next scene takes place weeks later, as Stella and her neighbor Eunice pack Blanche’s bags. Blanche is in the bath, and Stanley plays poker with his buddies in the front room. A doctor will arrive soon to take Blanche to an insane asylum, but Blanche believes she is leaving to join her millionaire. Stella confesses to Eunice that she simply cannot allow herself to believe Blanche’s assertion that Stanley raped her. When Blanche emerges from the bathroom, her deluded talk makes it clear that she has lost her grip on reality.