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Analysis Of The Play Streetcar Named Desire - Essay Example

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The purpose of the paper "Analysis Of The Play Streetcar Named Desire" gives the comparative analysis of the two characters of the play by Tennessee Williams written in 1947. A key theme that is dominant in the play is the relationship between sex and death…
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Analysis Of The Play Streetcar Named Desire
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Analysis Of The Play Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams, an American playwright, in 1947. The play opened on Broadway on the 3rd of December 1947, and later closed on the 17th of December 1949 (Williams 2). This paper will analyze the play by Tennessee Williams.
A Streetcar Named Desire represents a cultural collision between Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. The play represents Blanche as a fading yet attractive Southern beauty; her notions of culture and virtue are in reality nothing but delusions of greatness and alcoholism (Williams 3). In a streetcar named ‘Desire’, she arrives at the flat of Stella Kowalski, her sister, in Faubourg Marigny (Williams 9). The play discusses how Blanche’s life was full of menaces. She had just been sacked from work and realized that her husband was a homosexual. Later on, in the play, Stanley raped Blanche, and this resulted in a nervous breakdown. The character of Blanche is based on Williams’ sister, Rose Williams, who had mental health issues (Williams 9).
The main characters of the play are Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Stanley Kowalski, Harold “Mitch” Mitchell, and Eunice. Blanche DuBois is Stella’s older sister (Williams 3). DuBois was a high school English teacher. She is a fragile and loquacious woman around the age of 30. After the death of Reve and Belle, the DuBois family, Blanche goes to New Orleans to the Kowalski apartment and reveals that she is totally destitute. Stella Kowalski, on the other hand, is Blanche’s younger sister around the age of 25 (Williams 4). Stella has the same timeworn titled heritage as her sister DuBois. Stella is more poised with self-beauty and considers aging a curse (Williams 15). Stanley Kowalski is Stella’s husband. He is the epitome of a significant force. Stanley is loyal to his friends, adores his wife, and is cruel to Blanche. Harold Mitchell is Stanley’s army friend and poker buddy. Mitchell courted Blanche until he discovered the she had lied about her past, which made him leave. Finally, Eunice is Stella’s friend and also landlady. Eunice represents the lower class.
A key theme that is dominant in the play is the relationship between sex and death. Blanche’s fear of death portrays itself in her fears of lost beauty and aging skin (Williams 12). Blanche refuses to appear in the harsh light, which reveals her real looks, and to tell anybody her true age. She appears to believe that through asserting her sexuality, particularly to men, she might be able to overcome death and revisit the teenage life which she experienced before her husband’s suicide. According to Blanche, sex is the cause of death. Throughout the play, Blanche has memories of her ancestors who passed away due to the act (Williams 12).
Two levels of diction used in A Streetcar Named Desire are spoken words by the characters and texts on the stage directions (Williams 13). Stella’s nuances of speech in the play are set by the characters and their different social statuses and levels of education. Such a case can be noted between Stanley and Blanche, when Stanley portrays a non-grammatical and slangy speech but Blanche portrays fluency in English just to remind us that she was an English teacher. Stella speaks proper English, too. However, at times she depicts unemotional tones apart from the time she speaks of her husband (Williams 16). Finally, Steve and Eunice are fairly a step below Stanley on the language ladder. They use language only to quarrel when they are drunk.
Some of the spectacular moments that the play has include the fact that a film has been based on it in the 50’s, and it has recently been back to Broadway. Irene Mayer Selznick was the producer of the original production. The production used such actors as Marlon Brando, who played Stanley Kowalski. Due to this, the production turned into the most spectacular work ever to be witnessed on Broadway.
Whereas the play is a comparison between two characters, the underlying factor is the fantasy Blanche wishes to perceive as true and the reality Stanley faces (Williams 2). Blanche wants Stella to move into the castle which she built in the sky. She considers Stella as the person responsible for her family’s social status. This is one of the conventions of the play.

Work Cited
Williams, Tennessee. Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Oxford University, 2007. Print. Read More
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