Many writers place significance on the dynamics within relationships to present a complex and provocative models of interactions. The paper compares and contrast different forms of the presentation of family relations in the four novels.
Blanche's Breakdown A Streetcar Named Desire is an intricate web of complex themes and conflicted characters. Set in the pivotal years immediately following World War II, Tennessee Williams infuses Blanche and Stanley with the symbols of opposing class and differing attitudes towards sex and love, then steps back as the power struggle between them ensues.
Yet there are no clear cut lines of good vs.
As such, the play has no clear victor, everyone loses something, and this fact is what gives the play its tragic cast. In a larger sense, Blanche and Stanley, individual characters as well as symbols for opposing classes, historical periods, and ways of life, struggle and find a new balance of power, not because of ideological rights and wrongs, but as a matter of historical inevitability.
Interestingly, Williams finalizes the resolution of this struggle on the most base level possible. In Scene Ten, Stanley subdues Blanche, and all that she stands for, in the same way men have been subduing women for centuries.
Yet, though shocking, this is not out of keeping with the themes of the play for, in all matters of power, force is its ultimate manifestation. And Blanche is not completely unwilling, she has her own desires that draw her to Stanley, like a moth to the light, a light she avoids, even hates, yet yearns for.
A first reader of Scene Ten of the play might conclude that sex between Stanley and Blanche seems out of place. It might not ring true given the preceding circumstances. There is not much overt sexual tension or desire between them up to that point.
However, after re-reading and reflection, I realize their coming together in this way is more a function of power relations than of sexual attraction. This is certainly true in Stanley's case. In Scene Two, Stanley's primary interest in Blanche is in whether he and Stella are entitled to any money from Stella's family home.
When he finds there is no inheritance, Stanley shows quite plainly throughout the following scenes that he has no use for Blanche: He doesn't like her personally and they have nothing in common.
But as the play proceeds, it is obvious that Stanley does perceive Blanche as being something of a threat. She is a disruption to his and Stella's relationship in the physical sense since all three are living in close quarters, but what's worse, she is a part of what Stanley considers Stella's past, and Blanche's influence revives old prejudices and ways of thinking in Stella that threaten Stanley's dominance.
However, as Scene Ten begins, Stanley is on the verge of regaining his dominant stance. He has discovered details of Blanche's past that discredit her in Stella's eyes as well as putting an end to a potential marriage between Blanche and his friend.
His victory over her influence is sealed when he gives her a bus ticket back to Mississippi and insists that she use it. He is also only hours away from becoming a father, a physical manifestation of his virility and manhood.
His confidence in himself is palpable as the scene unfolds in the way he plays along with Blanche, pretending to believe her story about an invitation from an old beau. Then, tiring of the game, he savagely unmasks her story as lies and fabrications.
Only as Blanche becomes more frantic and desperate does the idea of subduing Blanche sexually seem to enter his mind. We've had this date with each other from the beginning! They are too different and their conflict has been too intense for it not to be resolved by some definite act of triumph.
Stanley expreses his victory in a way that satisfies his male ego as well as being an appropriate response to Blanche's own subconscious desires. Only an overt act of domination like this could satisfy someone of Stanley's temperament.
Blanche is by far the most complex character of the play. She is a bundle of contradictions, a blend of fact and fiction that the audience must decipher. An intelligent and sensitive woman who values literature and the creativity of the human imagination, she is also emotionally traumatized and repressed.
Thus, her own imagination becomes a haven from her pain. One senses that her perception of her real self as opposed to her ideal self has been increasingly blurred over the years until it is sometimes difficult for her to tell the difference.
It is a challenge to find the psychological key to Blanche's character but Williams implies the roots of her trauma lie in her early marriage.
Nothing is definitely spelled out about this period in her life, but certain clues in her speech imply she was haunted by her inability to help or understand her young, troubled husband and that she has tortured herself for it ever since.
Her drive to lose herself in the "kindness of strangers" might also be understood from this period in that her sense of confidence in her own feminine attraction was shaken by the knowledge of her husband's homosexuality and she is driven to affirm her power to attract men over and over.
Yet, beneath all this, Williams wants us to understand that Blanche's desire to find a companion, to find fulfillment in love, is a universal one.Tennessee Williams is one of America's finest playwrights, and his Pulitzer-Prize winning "A Streetcar Named Desire" is his undisputed masterpiece.
"The Glass Menagerie" moves us to tears and "Suddenly, Last Summer" is luridly fascinating, but "Streetcar" remains in, and haunts, our srmvision.coms: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams And so it was I entered the broken world To trace the visionary company of love, its voice An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled).
A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams Historical Context The play is set in , in New Orleans The history and culture of the setting embody the central concerns of the text.
A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by American playwright Tennessee Williams that received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in The play opened on Broadway on December 3, , and closed on 4/5(K). A Streetcar Named Desire is a one-act play with eleven scenes.
The work is a tragedy, a serious drama in which the problems and flaws of the central characters lead to an unhappy or catastrophic ending. words - 4 pages The downfall of two of the main characters of A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman are strikingly similar. In both plays, one of the main characters witnesses a devastating event which traumatizes them for the rest of their lives.