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.
Stella is a prime example for this case as she constantly shifts her loyalty between Blanche and Stanley throughout the play. Scene 11 is the pivotal scene where Stella makes the final decision as to who to side with. The dialogue “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley” suggests she believes Blanche’s story to some extent but is consciously choosing to think Blanche is lying in order to live peacefully with Stanley. Stella’s choice is symbolic of relationships which are made to conserve an individual’s existence. She carries a seed of doubt towards her husband however in order for her to survive especially when she bears a baby, Stella chooses Stanley, hence sustaining her placid lifestyle. Williams uses the expressionist technique “The ‘Varsouviana’ is filtered into weird distortion, accompanied by the cries and noises of the jungle” to parallel Blanche’s inner mind and depicts Blanche’s deranged mental state after Stella’s betrayal. The imagery ‘Lurid reflections appear on the walls in odd, sinuous shapes’ highlights her mental turbulence and the stage directions ‘mysterious voices behind walls, as if reverberated through a canyon of rock…the echo sounds in threatening whispers’ heightens tension, positioning the audience to witness the overwhelming fear and exaggeration of her senses, further emphasising the detrimental impact Stella’s decision made. The Streetcar Named Desire also examines the influence that a person’s social standing can have. Stanley’s statement in scene 2 ‘The Kowalskis and Dubois have different notions’ indicates their social upbringing has influenced the way they think, hence disrupting their connection and loyalty towards one another. The use of their family name is metonymic for their ancestry and social standing, addressing the barriers derived from a social hierarchy which have affected their relationship. Similarly, the
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.
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.
Stereotypical gender roles have existed as long as human culture has, becoming a natural part of all of our lives. Within each gender lies a variety of stereotypes and expectations. Most notably for men they are often depicted as tough and the family provider. Whereas women are often shown to be soft and vulnerable. Throughout the play A Streetcar Named Desire the author; Tennessee Williams illustrates the main characters, Stanley, Stella, Mitch and Blanche with these stereotypes. The play takes place in the 1950s in New Orleans containing a diverse population. However, is race discriminated against, those who go against classifed gender roles are often discriminated and have trouble finding their way in society. Although gender equality has
Playwright Tennessee Williams once said “a symbol in a play has only one legitimate purpose which is to say a thing more directly and simply and beautifully than it could be said in words”. He seems to take his own advice to heart when writing such a thought provoking play as A Streetcar Named Desire. While Williams makes extensive use of symbols in Streetcar, the use of animals and animal-like characteristics as a symbol are constantly used to define Stanley Kowalski’s character and convey his desires as primal and ferine.
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.
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
Introduction: Throughout the play and film adaptation of, A Streetcar Named Desire, we view the main characters progression throughout the thought provoking story. Specifically, we see Blanche Dubois lose touch with reality as she avoids the light and attempts to manipulate the other characters. Blanche is fearful of the light because of her traumatic past that she has faced. Her fear of being revealed in the light shows her true nature, manipulative, delusional and malevolent. Tennessee Williams uses the motif of light and dark to explore and delve into the characters of Blanche Dubois, Stanley Kowalski, and Mitchell. The two opposing forces in a streetcar named desire are Light and Darkness. To show this Tennessee Williams brilliantly disguises multiple words with double meanings. The two forces are also represented by the two purposely, opposed characters, Stanley Kowalski who represents Light and Truth and Blanche Dubois who represents Darkness and Fantasy. Williams even makes the characters personality and historic background contrast greatly to further emphasize this idea of opposing forces of Light and darkness. Stanley Kowalski is, Non- apologetic, Low social status Strong and Robust Exposes Blanche. Blanche Dubois: Mysterious and Manipulative High social status Fragile and Delicate and has an Inability to overpower
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
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
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.
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. To hide her true self, Blanche restored to duplicity, coupled with her voracious desire and ubiquitous deception caused her a breakdown. In the following paragraphs, there will be more events that led Blanche to such end.