preview

A Streetcar Named Desire Analysis

Better Essays
Past and Present Intertwine Through Symbolism Tennessee Williams is a world famous playwright. He has won many prestigious awards. In 1947, Williams penned one of his most famous plays, A Streetcar Named Desire, winning him the Pulitzer Prize. William’s background greatly influenced his writing, and because of this, alcoholism and mental illness are issues strongly reflected in his works (Williams 1817). A Streetcar Named Desire is a story about a women with mental health issues, named Blanche Dubois. In the play, Blanche loses her family 's estate, and goes to stay with her sister Stella. Stella lives with her husband Stanley. From the start of the play, the audience begins to notice Blanche and Stanley’s contrasted personalities. Williams uses symbolism to allow his characters to represent something stronger than themselves. Past and present are intertwined in A Streetcar Named Desire through Blanche and Stanley; Blanche represents the past: the Old South, aristocracy, and former sensitivity, while Stanley represents the present: the New South, the industrial class, and modern straightforwardness. Blanche and Stella grew up on a plantation called Belle Reve, representing the Old South. The Old South had a sense of romanticism, focusing mainly on appearances. Blanche is a genuine Southern Belle. Throughout the play, Blanche makes it a point to look her best at all times. Stanley exasperatedly says, “What’s this here? A solid-gold dress, I believe! And this one! What is
Get Access