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 …show more content…
Blanche’s suppression begins after Allen’s death. For Blanche his death opened up a floodgate of fear and desire which she could not manage. After Allen’s death Blanche was filled with fear, fear that she would end up alone and become a spinster. This panic "drove [her] from one [man] to another, hunting for some protection”(117). As well Blanche states that when she met her husband, she “made the discovery-love. All at once and much, much too completely” (95). Blanche made the discovery of her desire for the first time, but this hunger could not be satisfied. Her husband’s death and his homosexuality kept her from feeling what it is to be desired and, in turn feeling desire. Her sexual desires which at first had been denied by her husband 's death were now denied by her need to find a husband. As she no longer owned Belle Reve, which afforded her some social status, her only means of tempting suitors was through her sexuality and her fading looks. Blanche’s knowledge that she must attract men with her physical body is shown when she tries to get Mitch 's attention by undressing in the light so that he can see the outline of her body “Blanche moves back into the streak of light. She raises her arms and stretches, as she moves indolently back to the chair” (88). However, her sexual encounters quickly gained her a reputation that prevented many …show more content…
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
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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.
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.
Blanche is an old southern Belle who expects the man to be a gentleman and in her level of class, scene 10 “A cultivated woman, a woman of intelligence and breeding, can enrich a man’s life” (Williams, 1947) this is how Blanche intertwines the past and present as past women were only there to be seen, look after the house and provide children and present Blanche could be seen to be past her prime. Blanche is representing the past as she is still dress in grand dress white moth Ironically Blanche appears in the first scene dressed in white, “the symbol of
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.
In the play A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennessee Williams, the main character, Blanche DuBois, travels to New Orleans to stay with her sister, Stella, and Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalski. Throughout the play, sexulaity is seen as a strong motivator for many of the characters actions. Early in the play, Stanley is introduced as a particularly sexual character, “ Since earliest manhood the center of his life has been pleasure with women, the giving and taking of it, not with weak indulgence... He sizes women up with a glance, with sexual classifications…” (Williams 25).
Thesis: Light is symbolic of realism or to put it cruder the ugly reality. Darkness is symbolic of fantasy or the fabrication created by characters. Introduction: Throughout the play and film adaptation of, A Streetcar Named Desire, we view the main characters progression throughout the thought provoking story.
In Scene 10, she deviously claims that she has just received a telegram from the millionaire, Steph Huntleigh, to explain why she is dressed up. At first, Stanley plays along, but once Blanche musters up the audacity to say that Mitch returned to their apartment seeking repentance, Stanley draws the line. He calls her out for her fictitious tales of her past, and states, “We’ve had this date from the start,” just before he maliciously rapes Blanche. Their natures root in primal, animalistic instincts, Stanley like a dirty hog, open and free concerning his sexuality, Blanche like a fox, sly and deceitful. Despite her incessant attempts to destroy her past, Blanche is unable to stop their sexual connection as she has had so many other men.
When Blanche first comes to Stella’s house, she firmly demands Stella to “turn the over-light off!” as she cannot “be looked at in [the] merciless glare” (Williams 11). Although the light seems harsh, Blanche acts hardhearted and pitiless and could possibly be seeing herself in the glare. Blanche “cannot tolerate being seen in bright light” because she is “hypersensitive to her declining physical beauty” (Adler 30). In attempts to protect her own image, she buys a paper lantern to cover the harsh light in Stanley and Stella’s bedroom; Blanche’s mental state is “as fragile” as the paper lantern that protects her from her own reality (Adler 30).
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
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. One of the things that led Blanche to her downfall is the past. The past, where she was the reason why she lost her husband, Alan, he
Not only has Tennesse Williams portrayed Stella and Blanche to be seen as delicate and dependent, our own society has created this image but this not only affects how individuals see themselves but affects relationships immensely. Tennessee Williams reinforces the stereotype in which women are often the victims of unfortunate fate within the usage of the character Blanche. Throughout the whole play, we have witnessed Blanche being on the bitter end of life's miseries as she has encountered the tough loss of Belle Reve, dealing with her ex-husband's suicide and the loss of her relationship with Mitch. Arguably, the expectations and beliefs of women were either to be a housewife or a mother, whereas Blanche shows neither, as a result of automatically feeling out of place possibly leading to her downfall. Blanche was constantly fantasizing about the traditional values of a southern gentlemen, proving her dependence on this sex.
And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it!” Blanches magic is seen through her illusions and delusions. In Blanches world Mitch doesn’t fit however she has reached a point of intimacy by being honest about her first husband and the guilt she endures as she begins to share the painful moment of her life with him. Stanley’s intrusion ruins her plans of marriage with Mitch and yet again she had to retreat in the world of her delusions. Stanley who represents realism in this novel and play pops Blanche’s illusion bubble through seeing the realism in scene ten
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.
“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.