depend on the kindness of strangers

depend on the kindness of strangers

A form of self-deception. The phrase comes from Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), in which Blanche DuBois, with delusions of grandeur, has a destructive effect on her sister Stella’s marriage to Stanley Kowalski. Stanley rapes her, leading to her nervous breakdown, and commits her to a mental hospital. As the doctor leads her off, she says, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” The phrase “kindness of strangers” occasionally appears in other contexts, as in “With no rain for a month, my garden depends on the kindness of strangers.” Sue Miller used it in her novel The Lake Shore Limited (2010). Talking about two characters in her play, the playwright said: “Well, you are not Jay . . . a guy who’s betraying his wife. And I’m not Elena. I’m not . . . dependent upon the kindness of strangers.”
See also: depend, kindness, of, on, stranger
References in periodicals archive ?
So it needs imagination to realise how it would be to have to flee our country and depend on the kindness of strangers.
Every year, 2,000 people will depend on the kindness of strangers for donations of healthy stem cells to help fight cancer.
Stray cats depend on the kindness of strangers in the streets, which is not often guaranteed
It's true when they say, you can always depend on the kindness of strangers. It made a great impression on the tourists as well as proving that Bahrain is still one of the friendliest countries around.
Ehmet has to depend on the kindness of strangers; he has a brief reunion with schoolmates at a refugee camp; and he journeys to a village where orphans are safe.
Unlike ancient travelers or contemporary refugees who depend on the kindness of strangers, the vast majority of tourists in developing nations are more affluent than the hosts who wait on them at table or poolside or clean their rooms and carry their bags.
We're wiser: the arts have never been self-supporting; they depend on the kindness of strangers for their survival.