Part 3 (exam) works Page Word/Term/Phrase Meaning/Explanation
41 “Cards on the table”

This is a very popular and commonly used saying today as much as the past. When someone refers to putting their “cards on the table” it essentially means “ok, here is the truth.” It is another way of saying like “ok, here is everything I know or have got…” If you think of it in a closer meaning, when you actually put your cards on the table in say a “poker” game you are essentially showing everything you have and hiding nothing. It is all you got, and it is what it is, nothing can change. When someone says they are going to put their “cards on the table” they are usually about to discuss something as is the case here with Blanche about to tell Stanley the whole truth about Belle Rive. This saying has a lot of foreshadowing to the men who actually play poker in the very next scene.

42 Ambler & Ambler

Ambler is a Real Estate agency in Ambler, Pennsylvania. This is a relevant to the story as Belle Rive was apparently lost due to mortgage issues amongst the rest of Stella and Blanche’s family dying. She received letters from “Ambler & Ambler” and other agencies. A Real Estate agency deals with the mortgages on peoples homes, selling houses and dealing with the ‘internal’ issues revolving the owners, renters and their issues.

42 Mortgage

The American Heritage dictionary says a mortgage is: “A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for performance of an obligation or repayment of a debt.” Due to the personal issues Blanche faced while at Belle Rive such as losing all her remaining family she did not have the money to pay the loans on Belle Rive. Therefore she had to let the house go, thus losing it through mortgage. She discovers this and then goes to see Stella to tell her. Stanly gets very angry and upset over the situation. Blanche tried to make money by being a part-time prostitute and teacher however could not make enough to save the great
Belle Rive.

45 Chinaman’s – Chop suey.

Chop suey is a Chinese dish consisting of mainly meats (either chicken, beef or pork) and cooked with vegetables in a sweet thickened sauce. The “Chinaman’s” Is a Chinese shop near by the neighborhood where Mitch goes during the poker to get some food for the men while they play poker. He is told to pick up chop suey for the men. It is a cheap messy meal that is quick and easy to make and finish. This represents the night and the men as they are all blue-collar men who are typically dirty and messy therefore it seems like an appropriate type of food. Also, playing poker the men are not focused on the food therefore it is a nice snack while the men play. The night also turns very messy when Stanley gets up and hits Stella. The messy food symbolizes the night as quite messy and “all over the place.”

43 Napoleonic Code

The Napoleonic code is one that Stanley uses when talking to Blanche and Stella. It basically states that through marriage in the state of Louisiana, whatever belongs to the wife also automatically belongs to the husband and vise versa. It is based on early French law as well as Roman law. It divides civil law into three categories: personal status, property and acquisition of property. Stanley brings this code up when he finds out from Stella that they she and her sister have lost Belle Rive. He feels that it is his duty as the husband to take an interest in his wife’s affairs and since he believes what is hers is his, he wants to find out the whole truth behind it as he does not trust Blanche at all.

46 Sugar Tit

Is a folk name for a baby pacifier, or dummy, that was once commonly made and used in North America and Britain. It was made by placing a spoonful of sugar, or honey, in a small patch of clean cloth, then gathering the cloth around the sugar and twisting it to form a bulb. The bulb was then secured by twine or a rubber band. When the men are playing poker, Mitch is talking about how he is going to go home soon so Stanley tells him to shut up or he will give him a ‘sugar tit.’ Basically, this is saying that he will shut him up using a dummy like a baby. It is quite degrading, however Mitch never argues with Stanley as it seems that Stan is the most respected man of the four and highest ‘ranking’ so to speak.