“I don’t want realism, I want magic”- Blanche DuBois (Williams 145). In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams presents readers with the acute presence of fantasy in individuals’ lives. Every character fabricates fantasies in his life to gloss over his struggles and forget each other 's flaws. A Streetcar Named Desire evaluates individual’s use of fantasy as a crutch to avoid the hard truths and give purpose to an empty life.
In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams the character Blanche Dubois shows the characteristics of a tragic hero. In the play, Blanche is tested by suffering, forcing her to face the consequences of her actions. Blanche has many tragic flaws that can be shown through symbolism and themes throughout the play. Aristotle states that the protagonist must be of noble character - defined not by birth but rather moral choice. Aristotle also felt the best type of a tragic hero will fall somewhere between the two extremes - “... a person who is neither perfect in virtue and justice, nor one who falls into misfortune through vice and depravity, but rather, one who succumbs through some miscalculation.” According to Aristotle the characteristics of a tragic hero are to provoke sad emotions, such as pity or fear, from the audience. When these sad emotions are provoked from the audience, it is hoped that after seeing the tragic hero leading themselves to downfall or death it will transform the audience into good human beings.
Tennessee William’s 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire takes place in Elysian Fields, New Orleans, and portrays the marital situation of this time. This play illustrates conflict over the marriage of Stella and Stanley. This marriage can be seen as strict, and controlling but also full of lust. Stella’s sister, Blanche, sees through the illusion and can see how toxic the marriage really is. Stanley and Blanche come from distinctly different backgrounds, Stanley is from the working class while Blanche comes from wealth. Williams uses these two contrasting points of views on marriage, to show the issues of possessiveness, class, and sexism.
Throughout Tennessee William’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ feminine ideals of appearance are associates with ablutions and bathing. This is due to the view of water having renewing properties, the mental health associations of bathing within both texts, and the patriarchal view of feminine appearances. In William’s and Plath’s literary works, water is depicted as having renewal properties in the central feminine characters of both plots. In the character of Blanche DuBois this is most notable when she exclaims, “Oh, I feel so goof after my long, hot bath, I feel so good and cool and – rested!”. Blanche’s frequent baths, along with the excessive amount of time spent in the bathroom within the play, exemplify her attempts at purifying herself from the events of past and present. This is further demonstrated when Blanche says: “A hot bath and a long, cold drink always gives me a brand-new outlook on life!”. Similarly, in Plath’s principal character of Esther Greenwood, the act of bathing presents itself as a means of renewal: “The longer I lay there in the clear hot water the purer I felt, and when I stepped out at last and wrapped myself in one of the big, soft white hotel bath towels I felt pure and sweet as a new baby”. Esther’s fascination with purifying herself likens itself to a religious ritual. Saadia El Karfi notes that whilst Esther does not acknowledge her bathing rituals as religious there is a “comparison of the feeling she feels in
William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire presents a variety of perspectives on relationships, especially addressing the idea that bonds which aren’t bound by trust, loyalty and lust in an even balance will inevitably fail. Tennessee Williams uses the interaction between his characters, predominantly Blanche, Mitch, Stella and Stanley; to express a variety of ideas regarding relationships. These connections can be witnessed in scenes 2, 3, 6 and 11, through the use of stage directions, dialogue and expressionism to display different perspectives of character interaction.
The themes of violence and power in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ hold an important role in the criticism of 1940s American society. Conflicts perpetuated by violence and power, such as abusive relationships and violent oppression are projected through the characters within the play. Williams uses these conflicts to highlight his criticisms of faltering values and social norms, from the perspective of an individual constrained by the expectations of a strict, Southern society.
In today’s society, gender norms convince men that unless they are able to control women, they are weak. Considered the inferior gender, women must find new ways to prove their own strength, whether it be through manipulation or their sexuality. The battle between the two continues as men strive to remain dominant, often by immoral means, and women attempt to gain the upper hand. In the screenplay, “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, the sexual tension and struggle for dominion between Blanche and Stanley is evident, and as the play continues, Blanche's promiscuity and Stanley's predatory nature foreshadow an inevitable confrontation.
Society of Tennessee Williams’ time saw sexuality as a part of ourselves that should be suppressed because of it’s destructive nature. Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire Williams showcases his characters in this anti-sex society. He shows them in this society, not to praise it, but instead to highlight the negative effects of existing in such a world. Through the actions and consequences his characters face in conforming to societies’ standards Williams manages to communicate a story that condemns society for keeping people from expressing their sexuality and from being stable, whole and sexual human beings. Expressing sexuality or sexual desires leads the play 's characters to death or to ruin, the suppression of desire is destructive and
Tennessee Williams is one of the most recognized playwrights that lived during the mid-twentieth-century (“Tennessee Williams”). After finishing college, Williams decides to move to New Orleans, where he writes A Streetcar Named Desire. His career starts to take off as he begins to write more plays (“Tennessee Williams”). A Streetcar Named Desire talks about the life of a woman, Blanche DuBois, who is very secretive about her past and does not expose her true intentions of coming to live with her younger sister Stella. As the play goes on Stanley, Stella’s husband, starts to dig into the dark past that terrorizes Blanche when they begin to have a conflict with each other. In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche Dubois
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.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” is a very elegant film in which the Southern gothic culture is demonstrated profoundly. Tennessee Williams uses the characters in the play to bring about a sense of how corrupt society truly was in the 1940’s in the South. The 1940’s was marked by an immense amount of violence, alcoholism, and poverty. Women at the time were treated as objects rather than people. Throughout the play Tennessee Williams relates the aspects of Southern society to the characters in the play. As the movie goes on, it becomes more and more clear what Tennessee Williams is trying to convey to the audience. This being, Southern culture was deeply corrupted in many ways and the societal norms of the time period were like a drug that people
Would one rather accept reality- death, sickness, loneliness- or explore a pretend world of happy endings? Tennessee Williams’ exceptional play, “A Streetcar Named Desire” brilliantly showcases the struggle to accept reality through all the loss and sadness rather than imaginary happiness. Blanche tries to wash away her past and hide her present from her family and Mitch, all while Stella ignores the truths of their dysfunctional marriage, and Mitch is struggling with the inevitable death of his mother. Throughout the play, the ugly truth is overlooked and replaced by a string of beautiful lies. “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams portrays the inability to accept reality rather than the imaginary through Blanche’s past and present,
The late 1940’s were characterized by the emergence out of World War II that led to a dependence on the idea of The American Dream, which meant men were working harder to achieve a more comforting lifestyle and opportunity while women were still fighting the oppression of caused by unequal representation. This idealistic dream is illustrated throughout Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”, which has a rigid dichotomy between illusion and reality revealed throughout multiple characters and their dysfunctional lives that are a direct result between fantasy and actuality.
Effeminate- Adjective -(of a man) Having or showing characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; unmanly. (Pg 114)
The play A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the most notable plays of the late 1940s to early 1950s and is still prevalent in the theater community today. It originally opened on Broadway in a 1947 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, today more commonly known as the Barrymore Theatre, preforming for a little over a thousand patrons. The original Stanley was played by Marlon Brando, who would reprise this role in the movie adaptation. At the Barrymore Theatre, the set was quite complex with a full stairway and banister, a pallor with a 4-chair dinning set and all the dressings of a then modern, but lower-class apartment. The costumes were quite normal street clothes for that time-period except for Blanche 's extravagant wardrobe. For this time-period, the makeup and hair was quite common. Since Blanche was dressed to impress and find a husband she wore a full face of makeup. Since was not yet born in 1947, I am unsure what the sound and lighting designs were like.