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Page
Word/Term/Phrase
Meaning/Origin
24
Master sergeant (MSG)
The highest Specialist rank in the Armed Forces, ranking just above Staff Sergeant (SSG) and below Second Warrant Officer.

Engineer corps
A group of engineers that help plan and execute army missions. Their mission statement is: “Engineers support the battlefield commander by executing their four-fold tactical mission of mobility, counter mobility, survivability and general engineering, as well as providing topographical support to the Army.” (http://www.branchorientation.com/engineer/profile.html).
25
Belle Reve
Means “sweet dreams” in French. The name is ironic considering that the last few years Blanche spent in Belle Reve were nightmare-like due to deaths of her family members and the scandals she had with lovers and school boys.

In a historical context in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, Belle Reve was a southern mansion plantation that used to be the living quarters for the masters of slaves who grew cash crops. It was a wealthy, thriving house once upon a time, but during Blanche’s time was a part of the dying out southern upper class. There actually is a real Belle Reve in New Orleans, it is shown below.
external image Maison_Belle_Reve_New_Orleans_Louisiana_31232.jpg
Ironically, there is also a prison called the Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary located in Louisiana. It is interesting though maybe not significant to the purpose Tennesse Williams was accomplishing. Nonetheless, the prison is like what Blanche lived in. She was imprisoned by herself, by Stanely, by family expectations, social expectations and even her own sister.

26
“fought and bled”
A phrase used to express how someone devoted their life or went through a tough time in order to complete a task. The imagery of this phrase is linked to a battle, which refers to the idea of life as a battle everyone must get through.

On a more literal level the phrase refers to a war/battle occurring where people fight their hardest and may get injured and bleed; however they do not die, but perhaps become stronger. Ironically Blanche does not believe this about the phrase, she believes her “fight” and “blood” are still part of her suffering.
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“the long parade to the graveyard”
a phrase used to describe a funeral and the time period right before someone dies. It is a sorrowful, awkward time. The long parade symbolizes the parade of people/cars in a funeral. The graveyard is a symbol of death. Literally, it is imagery of the suffering people go through before death, too.

Grim Reaper
He is death personified into a person. He symbolizes death as he comes and claims the souls of people that have died. He is considered to be a frightening.
external image grim-reaper.jpg



Poker
Was considered a lower class/blue collar game. It is associated with betting, debt, sleaziness, laziness, masculinity and dirtiness. It is a direct contrast to the prim and proper world that Blanche hails from.
28
Jax beer
A popular beer in the 1930s; it is made in New Orleans and was a local favorite. It is another prop used to set the setting of where Stanely and Stella live.
external image jax.jpg



“Phoned me”
To get a call from someone.