The play “A Streetcar Named Desire” is about an emotionally unstable lady named Blanche. She moves in with her youngest sister and her husband because the landlord took the land away from Blanche because they could not pay for it anymore. After being their for a while Blanche starts remembering her horrible past which is something she was trying to do in the first place. The husband of Stella, Stanley Kowalski was also someone that made Blanche’s life miserable for complicating everything and harassing her in every possible way.
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.
The character role of Blanche in the play, A Streetcar Named Desire was full of fantasy and delusion where Stella and Stanley started to live a life in romance. The place names were real, the journey foreshadowed Blanche’s psyche orientation throughout the play. Blanche’s desires had led her down paths of bad sexual relation and alcoholism, and by making contact with the Kowalski; she had crossed the limit. Blanche’s desire to escape made her to isolate from the world around her. By the end of the play, Blanche could no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality.
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.
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.
There are several ways you could say Tennessee William uses the motifs of light and shadow throughout the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”. One of the most obvious is how both are used to convey the difference between reality and the fantasy world some characters seem trapped in. Reality is represented by light, under it nothing can be hidden. Whereas staying in the shadows allow one to hide parts of themselves they wish to keep secret and create a false sense of reality, a fantasy of who they want to be. Williams also uses light to develop the character of Blanche, who struggles with her past and aging body.
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.
Psychologist Sigmund Freud developed an idea that there is more than one aspect to the human psyche. The human psyche rather is structured into three separate parts including: id, ego, and superego. In a similar manner, Tennessee Williams has three main characters in his Southern Gothic play, A Streetcar Named Desire. In addition to the human psyche as the three mentioned categories, Freud introduced psychoanalysis, which is the belief that people could be cured through developing their unconscious thoughts or motivations into their conscious decisions, receiving insight (McLeod). Characters are shaped by their thoughts and actions, as this is present in A Streetcar Named Desire. Williams seems to have taken the ideals of Freud to build his characters in Freudian molds. Psychoanalytic ideas are revealed through the actions of the three main characters as Stanley is the Id, Stella as the Ego, and Blanche as the Superego. Creating an understanding of each individual as they pertain to a psychological approach, reveals the reasons they had for acting the way they did throughout the play.
Darkness can be a comfortable place for anyone. Without having to look at yourself or have people see you, one may not feel as judged or insecure. Light is revealing. In a bright room, you can’t hide tears, blemishes, or emotions. Blanche, from A Streetcar Named Desire, knows the pain of light all to well. Blanche flees a failed company and a failed marriage in attempt to find refuge in her sister’s home. Through her whirlwind of emotions, the reader can see Blanche desires youth and beauty above all else, or so the readers think. In reality, she uses darkness to hide the true story of her past. In A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses the motif of light to reveal Blanche’s habit of living in a fantasy world until the light illuminates her reality.
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)
Though reality triumphs over fantasy in A Streetcar Named Desire, when the truth comes colliding down on Blanche, she has no choice but to go insane ultimately avoiding the acceptance of
Overall, A Streetcar Named Desire is showing the downfalls of not expressing sexuality while doing the rare thing of showcasing sexuality in the context of a society that dismissed and condemned it. Tennessee Williams was a gay man who knew the frustration of living in a time period that demanded his sexuality be repressed. Through the play, he communicates how high a price individuals had to pay for expressing their desires. In Blanche’s case, her expression of sexuality led to her being committed to a mental institute, and in Allen Grey’s case death. Despite this Williams also imparts to his audience the negative impacts of disguising one 's sexuality behind the guise of what is considered normal and proper. This is presented by Blanches descent into madness due to her inability to act properly on her sexual urges. Lastly, Williams demonstrates how Blanche is not at fault for not knowing how to act on her desires. She was brought up in a world that told her that expressing her sexuality or even having sexual desires was wrong, she never learned how to deal with desire. This is why A Streetcar Named Desire should not be dismissed as a cautionary tale that warns individuals not to embrace desires. On the contrary, this is a story that blames society for not allowing people to openly express their sexuality and act of their most primal of
“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
Tennessee Williams is acclaimed for his ability to create multi faced characters such as Blanche Dubois in the play, A Streetcar Named Desire. She comes to New Orleans after losing everything including her job, money, and her family’s plantation Belle Reve, to live with her sister Stella. During her time there she causes many conflicts with Stella’s husband Stanley and tries to get involved with the people there, all while judging them for their place in society, although she is imperfect too. Through her, Williams has created a complex character. She is lost, confused, conflicted, lashing out in sexual ways, and living in her own fantasies throughout the entirety of the play. Blache is destroyed by her own characteristics: alcoholism, promiscuity, and cruelty.