A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams Essay
1727 Words7 Pages
A Streetcar Named Desire
In what way can A Streetcar Named Desire be seen as an exploration of”old” America versus the “new” America?
In the play, Blanche represents old America and Stanley represents new America. Why Blanche represents old America is because of her way of thinking, lifestyle and values. When Blanche walks into the room where the guys are playing poker, there is a great example of how Blanche represents old and Stanley new. When she walks in, the guys are sitting around the table, then Blanche says “Please don’t get up”. Stanley replies “nobody’s going to get up, so don’t be worried”. Before men were always supposed to treat women with respect, and get up from the chair when they came in, and when they left. Blanche…show more content…
If you take a look at the unstable and chaotic society in America today, he might have had a point. Something to take into consideration is that Williams was homosexual, he might be showing the bad sides of heterosexual men through Stanley’s superficial and ego actions.
When Blanche comes to Stella and Stanley, she wants Stella to come with her. She says to Stella that Stella is everything she has in this world. Stanley notices that Blanche is there to take Stella away, and acts like an animal and he protects his territory. This is why he is so hostile towards Blanche.
Blanche has problems adapting to the “new” world, because she is stuck in the old world. This is different to Stella, who has learned that she has to adapt and accept. When Blanche lost her husband she lost a big part of her life. That she is not over the loss of her husband is shown very clear in the play. She is clearly becoming mentally ill because of the loss and that she is not able to move on. She is always bathing, from the moment we first meet her, after she has taken her baths she says that she feels like a new person. She is trying to wash off the dirt from the past, trying to clear her mind. She is constantly drinking, and she is also trying to hide it. People who are alcoholics rarely have a good life, and they are very often not satisfied with their lives, there are things that
A Streetcar Named Desire: Relationship Between Stanley and Blanche
2010 Words9 Pages
A Streetcar Named Desire is a play of multifaceted themes and diverse characters with the main antagonists of the play, Blanche and Stanley infused by their polarized attitudes towards reality and society ‘structured on the basis of the oppositions past/present and paradise lost/present chaos’(*1). The effect of these conflicting views is the mental deterioration of Blanche’s cerebral health that, it has been said; Stanley an insensitive brute destroyed Blanche with cruel relish and is the architect of her tragic end. However, due to various events in the play this statement is open to question, for instance, the word ‘insensitive’ is debatable, ‘insensitive’ can be defined as not thinking of other people’s feelings but Stanley is aware of…show more content…
Stanley overhears these comments as they are ‘unaware of his presence’ (S4:pg.164*; and wants to dispose of Blanche to protect his marriage as Blanche has a hysterical determination to urge Stella to leave Stanley. Stanley refuses to accept Blanches’ conduct as she had no right to intervene and arbitrate as a guest in Stanley’s home supporting the idea that Stanley was preparing her downfall all along.
Blanches’ emotional state of mind is also conspicuous at the start of the play as she circumvents direct light, fearful of showing her fading looks and the light would make her vulnerable to the truth. Blanche is unable to withstand harsh light, calling the light a ‘merciless glare’(S1:pg.120*) because with Allan’s death, the light had gone out of her life and the effect this had is that she wanted dim lights hiding the reality of her painful memories. This links to the theme of dream and reality as Blanche, a delicate character, refused ‘to accept the reality of her life and attempts to live under illusion’ (*2), living on the borders of life similar to a moth which creates the image of Blanches’ fragility.
The way this theme contributes to Stanley destroying Blanches’ mental health is that his necessity for reality intrudes on Blanches’ desperate attempt at surviving illusions. Stanley is ‘simple, straightforward and honest’ (S2:pg.137*) and incapable of understanding Blanches’ delicate