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A Streetcar Named Desire - Essay Example

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A Streetcar Named Desire Thesis: Tennessee Williams’ film adapted play, A Streetcar Named Desire, is a landmark film in terms of its incredible ensemble performance, Elia Kazan’s brilliant direction, and evocative art direction that pushed censorship lines with its provocative realism of alcoholism, insanity, violence, and rape…
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A Streetcar Named Desire

Download file to see previous pages... The idea of the film is borrowed from the play by Tennessee Williams with the same title. The main character is Blanche DuBois, who is a fading though very beautiful heroine and the Southern belle. In the reality, this woman is degrading and is masterfully hiding behind her attractive mask. This woman suffers from the problems with alcoholism, but she tries to position herself as a good-willed woman. On her way to New Orleans French Quarter, she follows the route, which is named “Desire” and is really shocking for her (Bloom 1988, p. 37). The social underpinnings of the film Blanche is a very nervous woman with unstable nerves. She had an affair with her 17-year-old student and that is why she left her hometown. Moreover, this woman experienced a suicide of her husband and there is no wonder that she is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Her illusions are haunting her and are mixed with her reality. She lives in her own mixed reality which is the background for her self-searching. It is hard for her to identify herself in the complex social context and it is even harder for her to position herself as a sound member of the society or as a dweller of her illusive world. Stanley and Stella show their stable and erotically charged relation to Blanche and do not feel emotional constraint. Stanley has a conflict with Blanche, because he finds out those things which she tried to hide from all people around her. Stanley rapes her and Blanche experiences a nervous breakdown. These events may seem to be predictable for drama films, but in reality the director has another intention to contrast a real life of people with their imaginative worlds. Therefore, the main heroine is passing through the film driven by her strong desire; while she felt this desire to live and to love, she was alive. When this feeling was perverted and scorned, her life broke down. Stanley could not even confess that he committed this crime and spoiled a life of a poor woman. There is a rich symbolism in this film. The main characters are fighting against their low intentions, alcoholism, and their weak-willed natures. It is interesting that the director of the film chose Marlon Brando and Vivienne Leigh to play two main characters. Both of these actors are beautiful and have always been associated with dignity and good nature (Saal, 2003). In this film, the stereotypes are discarded and the public has a chance to see that they can play both positive and negative characters. Both of them can evoke not only a feeling of admiration or love, but also negative attitude and even disdain of the audience. At the same time, the director chose those actors in order to underline that everyone has its skeleton in the cupboard and very often there is a veil of dignity, but in reality a person is a perverted beast or lives another life. Leigh was dying out in 50s as the actress of romanticism and Marlon Brando was on the edge of naturalistic acting. There is a symbolic antagonism between romanticism and realism. There is a struggle of violence and desire against illusive romantic world. Therefore, the scene of rape is hidden from the audience, but it is clearly seen from the shadows of two persons what is happening. Brando is dominating on the screen. The epoch of realism and violence is dominating over the epoch of romanticism. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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