The Past and Present
Society and its values are always changing and shifting in American history. This is true for the pre-war and post-war eras of World War II. Before the war, America’s society was the conservative type which wanted to represent high culture and elite status. After the war, however, the values which society once held close, were not important to people anymore. In 1947, only two short years after World War II, Tennessee Williams wrote the play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” to highlight how the shift in time brought change in society. Williams was very resistant to the emerging conservative ideals of the time period, which is perhaps because of his own experiences with an alternative lifestyle. In the play, Williams intertwines the past and present by using symbols such as characters, places, and music embedded in the stage directions to show how society should embrace the new values and morals that are emerging as the past dies. Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski are the two main characters that Williams uses to intertwine the past and present together and represent the differences in the old and new worlds. In the beginning of the …show more content…
Before the war, society was one which valued aristocracy and high morals, however, the war brought much reform. Now, these values and morals were not as important as they once were. Williams was against the conservative way of life because he did not agree with its beliefs and practices, and instead wanted to live an alternative lifestyle. Because of this, he wrote, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” to show how the old society was dead and a new one was emerging which brought new views towards once disgraceful ways of life. He does this through the use of characters, places, and music embedded in stage directions. Tennessee Williams was a very powerful author who encouraged society to evolve and adapt to changing times, and ultimately, he achieved
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Tennessee Williams' essay, “On A Streetcar Named Success”, he reflects on how his success brought life-altering consequences. He demonstrates his ill-regard towards his success through a critical tone while also maintaining a didactic tone, intended to teach one that sometimes, hardships are necessary for an individual to have meaning in his life. Williams’ expresses a critical tone towards his success when reflecting on his time of tragic luxury. The use of harsh words, like snatched and thrust, to describe his sudden plummet into a life of ease is supporting evidence towards his critical tone. Williams’ didactic tone is thoroughly supported by the context in which the essay was written as well as Williams’ life, prior to his success.
c) Tennessee Williams’ landmark work, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, was a tour de force in its original stage production in 1947 and continues to resonate with audiences and readers today despite—or perhaps because of—its simplistic though layered story. d) Blanche puts on airs of class and happiness throughout the play, though internally she is miserable and haunted by her tragic and scandalous past. e) Most have argued (correctly) that the play is about the ways the past haunts our present or (again correctly) that it is about the ways class and sexuality impact our lives. However, few have seen the play for what it is: an allegory for the theater itself. a) cadbe b) adbec c) ceabd d) abdce Ans:
Examining Marriage in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire 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.
The Role of Fantasy and Purpose in Individuals “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. Blanche DuBois, the protagonist of the story, uses fantasy to cope with her world crumbling around her.
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. Death is one of the most symbolic terms in this play.
In the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the main characters, Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski, share a great dislike and distrust towards one another, ultimately becoming the basis for the story’s conflict. Their common contemption stems from their contrasting personalities and backgrounds, their incompatibility of being able to function under the same environment, and inability to adapt to the situations they find themselves in. Although Blanche detests Stanley and the manner in which he behaves in, she realises that he is a necessary part for Stella’s life in New Orleans, an environment that greatly differs from the southern aristocracy that Stella and Blanche once lived in. Blanche expresses this idea by stating, “Oh,
After having been performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in 1946, A Streetcar Named Desire brought about much controversy. At first it seemed that much of the controversy stemmed from the unpleasantness with which the subject was presented, such as the vulgar, unprecedented topics acted out on stage. George Jean Nathan, an original critic of the play, touched upon the vulgar manner of the drama, calling it “The Glands Menagerie.” (Bak, “Criticism on a Streetcar Named Desire”) Perhaps the more pressing reason as to why this play was received controversially, however, is a result of its cynical nature.
Tennessee Williams wrote “A Streetcar Named Desire” (Williams, 1947) It is based in New Orleans a new cosmopolitan city which is poor but has raffish charm. The past is representing old south in America 1900’s and present is representing new America post world war 2 in 1940’s. Past and present are intertwined throughout the play in the characters Stanley, Blanche, Stella and mitch. Gender roles show that males are the dominant and rule the house which Stanley is prime example as he brings home food and we learn of one time when he got cross and he smashed the light bulbs.
The Fight for Dominance 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.
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. To begin with, there is an indefinite violence between men and women within ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Stanley Kowalski, a focal character, is the epitome of male dominance and primitive aggression.
A Streetcar Named Desire Literary Analysis 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. Illusion is taken advantage of as an alternative to the unfair circumstances that the characters in “A Streetcar Named
A streetcar named desire was written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, in purpose to show the “declining of the upper class and the domination of the bourgeois middle class in the U.S.A. where the south agriculture class could not compete with the industrialization.” Blanche Dubois the protagonist of our story, a southern beauty that is trapped by the restrictive laws of her society. But she broke them, and eventually put herself in a state, where she had no job and no house. So she had to go to her sister, Stella and live with her and her sister’s husband, Stanley. While staying there, she created a façade for her to hide her flaws and kept acting as a lady, where she is anything but that.
By taking a psychological approach to the characters, it is evident that they stand for more than just Southern Gothic characters trying to get by in the 40s. What is present and portrayed by the writer, Tennessee Williams, is that he uses similar ideologies as great Psychologist Sigmund Freud. Williams does this because of the diversity of the city of New Orleans and the ability it can shape and potentially adapt to the various lifestyles. The human psyche divided into three categories is present in the play as the main characters play each one: Stanley as id, Stella as ego, and Blanche as superego. Each character works as their own, but also in unison just as seen in
In A Streetcar Named Desire, the author Tennessee Williams exaggerates and dramatizes fantasy’s incapability to overcome reality through an observation of the boundary between Blanches exterior and interior conveying the theme that illusion and fantasy are often better than reality. Blanche, who hides her version of the past, alters her present and her relationship with her suitor Mitch and her sister, Stella. Blanche was surrounded by death in her past, her relatives and husband have passed away, leaving her with no legacy left to continue. The money has exhausted; the values are falling apart and she is alienated and unable to survive in the harsh reality of modern society. Throughout the novel Williams juxtaposed Blanche’s delusions with
“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.