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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

 Characters:
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Blanche DuBois:
- comes from a formerly wealthy southern family that owned a plantation called Belle
R

A Streetcar Named Desire

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11/12/10

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Characters: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Blanche DuBois: - comes from a formerly wealthy southern family that owned a plantation called Belle Reve - raised as a refined lady Blanche does not cope well with life's harsh realities and feels she need a man to protect her - Blanche uses desire and illusion to suppress the reality of death and loss - when Blanche was young she married a man who committed suicide when Blanche rejected him for being homosexual - since then, Blanche had affairs with several men including a 17 year old student in an attempt to escape the trauma caused by the death of her husband - when Blanche arrives at the apartment of her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski in New Orleans, she's a desperate woman who's lost everything - still she keeps up her southern-belle act to protect herself from the harsh world and to get a man to marry her - Blanche's ladylike affections clash with gruff Stanley's crude manners and they come to hate each other - eventually Stanley confronts Blanche and rapes her - as a result, Blanche becomes mentally unstable Stanley Kowalski: - lives with his wife Stella in a small apartment in New Orleans - is a crude, domineering man who is physically imposing and sees himself as the ruler of...

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his family - when Stanley feels this power structure is threatened, he can become violent, throwing things and even beating Stella - even so, Stanley has a strong sexual and emotional bond with his wife - when Blanche comes to stay with him and Stella, Stanley clashes with her - Stanley loves down-to-earth ideas, is bluntly honest and often relies on physical intimidation - Stanley hates what he perceives as Blanche's superior attitude toward him and sees hers as a threat to his family order - as a result, he uncovers the truth about Blanche's sexual history in Laurel and uses it against her, then rapes her Stella Kowalski - Stanley's wife and Blanche's sister - Stella is more practical and adaptable than Blanche, willing to cast her upper class affectations to marry Stanley, a crude working class man - Stella acts as a mediator between Blanche and Stanley, she loves them both - she refuses to believe Blanche's story about being raped by Stanley, because if she did, she would not be able to live with her husband any further - instead, Stella betrays her sister helping Stanley get rid of Blanche by sending her to a mental institution Mitch - Stanley's good friend, served in the army with him and works for the same company - single, lives with his sick mother - has an innate kindness and gentleness - he believes Blanche`s southern-belle act and falls in love with her, Blanche likes Mitch and wants to marry him so he will protect her - when Stanley tells him the truth about Blanche's sexual history in Laurel, Mitch becomes disillusioned and bitter, refusing to marry her - in the end, he tries to prevent Stanley from forcing Blanche to leave, his attempt proves futile and he remains a broken man dominated by Stanley Themes: Desire, Destruction & Death the play's four major characters Blanche, Stanley, Stella and Mitch are driven by a variety of desires that almost always lead to their destruction and to the destruction of those around them for example Blanche is torn between conflicting desires of finding romantic love and marriage that will protect her from life's harsh realities, but her husband's death has driven her to sexual promiscuity and drinking that drives her away from these things Blanche often resorts to lies to prevent other people and possibly herself from seeing the truth, which ultimately leads to her destruction - Stanley's greatest desire is to maintain his dominant position as head of the family, but his marriage to Stellla is an ongoing cycle of sexual desire and violence when Blanche threatens his domination of his family Stanley decides to destroy her by exposing her past and by raping her Truth vs. Illusion is a theme mostly playing out through Blanche and Stanley - Blanche has trouble looking at the unvarnished truth because of this she lives in the dimly lit world of half-truths and illusion hiding behind her refined, often manipulative, southern manners, but Stanley is bluntly honest and crude and he despises lying but has no compassiom for others - he uses the truth as a weapon to control and destroy Blanche - for Stella compassion overrides truth and she believes her sister's behavior is understandable considering the tragic outcome of Blanche's marriage in the end, Stella chooses illusion over truth in order to preserve her marriage - Repression & Dependence repression and dependence speak to the place context, a time when women were expected to be dependent on men, both financially and emotionally, a dependence that dictated the course of their lives - the death of her young husband and the loss of her family home have made Blanche especially vulnerable Stella's financial emotional and sexual dependence on her husband Stanley trapped her in a wife with a horrible man who abuses her and rapes her sister Class Differences - class differences are depicted through the characters clash in social classes - Blanche bases her identity on being a refined southern-belle who appreciates the finer things in life Stella has left her upper-class background behind to join Stanley Blanche sees her sisters choice as a big step down in social status but low-class Stanley rips away Blanche's mask of superiority, disconfirms Blanche's view of him as no better than an animal, represented by the inhuman jungle voices and lurid reflections when he rapes her Passion & Sexuality - passion and sexuality of characters in the play reflect the way they view the world - Blanche's sexual exploits are away for her to escape the reality of her husband's suicide and the role she played in it Symbols: Light both dim and harsh light is used to underscore the theme of truth versus illusion: dim light symbolizes Blanche's world of illusion because it helps to disguise the truth about herself Stanley exudes a confident animal sexuality that binds him to his wife Stella Stella is possessed by a need to fulfill that sexual passion for Stanley, but Stanley also uses sexuality as a weapon raping Blanche in order to dominate her - for example she asks Mitch to place apaper lantern over a bulb to dim the glaring light in order to hide her true age - later, Mitch mentions to Blanche that she refuses to be seen in the harsh glare of the sun - he finds this suspicious, „I've never had a real good look at you" - Blanche worries that if Mitch knows her real age or the details of her life in Laurel he won't marry her in contrast harsh lights represents the naked truth especially is seen by Stanley and Mitch - when Mitch wants to find out Blanche's age he removes the paper lantern exposing Blanche to the harsh light of the naked light bulb Blanche finds this action insulting but Mitch sees it as truthful - Blanche believes a woman should be allowed deceit to protect your vanity and a gentleman should understand this need however for Mitch and Stanley the main goal is to expose the facts plain and simple to show this, author Tennessee Williams has the Kowalski apartment lit with glaring lights soon after Blanche arrives at the apartment, she tells Stella to turn off the overhead („I won't be looked at in this merciless glare") - Blanche carries many unpleasant truths within herself she would prefer not to see - Flowers the other key symbol the title of the play establishes a connection between desire and death, loss or destruction: the streetcar named desire brings Blanche to another streetcar called cemeteries and then to Elysian Fields, a greek reference to the afterlife: Blanche blames the sexual escapades of her ancestors for the loss of belle reve, Blanche's sexual escapades led to the loss of her job and her reputation, Blanche's husband kills himself after his affair with another man is discovered, finally Blanche loses her sanity after she is raped by Stanley the flowers in the play become the perfect symbol for this connection between desire and death - Stella complements Blanche's desirability saying ,,You are fresh as a daisy", yet Blanche references death in her reply ,,one that's been picked a few days" Mitch brings Blanche roses as an expression of his desire for her, just as Blanche's inappropriate flirtation with the young man collecting newspaper payments ends and when Mitch and Blanche have a falling out, a Mexican woman appears selling flowers for the death.

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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 Characters:
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Blanche DuBois:
- comes from a formerly wealthy southern family that owned a plantation called Belle
R

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Characters: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Blanche DuBois: - comes from a formerly wealthy southern family that owned a plantation called Belle Reve - raised as a refined lady Blanche does not cope well with life's harsh realities and feels she need a man to protect her - Blanche uses desire and illusion to suppress the reality of death and loss - when Blanche was young she married a man who committed suicide when Blanche rejected him for being homosexual - since then, Blanche had affairs with several men including a 17 year old student in an attempt to escape the trauma caused by the death of her husband - when Blanche arrives at the apartment of her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski in New Orleans, she's a desperate woman who's lost everything - still she keeps up her southern-belle act to protect herself from the harsh world and to get a man to marry her - Blanche's ladylike affections clash with gruff Stanley's crude manners and they come to hate each other - eventually Stanley confronts Blanche and rapes her - as a result, Blanche becomes mentally unstable Stanley Kowalski: - lives with his wife Stella in a small apartment in New Orleans - is a crude, domineering man who is physically imposing and sees himself as the ruler of...

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his family - when Stanley feels this power structure is threatened, he can become violent, throwing things and even beating Stella - even so, Stanley has a strong sexual and emotional bond with his wife - when Blanche comes to stay with him and Stella, Stanley clashes with her - Stanley loves down-to-earth ideas, is bluntly honest and often relies on physical intimidation - Stanley hates what he perceives as Blanche's superior attitude toward him and sees hers as a threat to his family order - as a result, he uncovers the truth about Blanche's sexual history in Laurel and uses it against her, then rapes her Stella Kowalski - Stanley's wife and Blanche's sister - Stella is more practical and adaptable than Blanche, willing to cast her upper class affectations to marry Stanley, a crude working class man - Stella acts as a mediator between Blanche and Stanley, she loves them both - she refuses to believe Blanche's story about being raped by Stanley, because if she did, she would not be able to live with her husband any further - instead, Stella betrays her sister helping Stanley get rid of Blanche by sending her to a mental institution Mitch - Stanley's good friend, served in the army with him and works for the same company - single, lives with his sick mother - has an innate kindness and gentleness - he believes Blanche`s southern-belle act and falls in love with her, Blanche likes Mitch and wants to marry him so he will protect her - when Stanley tells him the truth about Blanche's sexual history in Laurel, Mitch becomes disillusioned and bitter, refusing to marry her - in the end, he tries to prevent Stanley from forcing Blanche to leave, his attempt proves futile and he remains a broken man dominated by Stanley Themes: Desire, Destruction & Death the play's four major characters Blanche, Stanley, Stella and Mitch are driven by a variety of desires that almost always lead to their destruction and to the destruction of those around them for example Blanche is torn between conflicting desires of finding romantic love and marriage that will protect her from life's harsh realities, but her husband's death has driven her to sexual promiscuity and drinking that drives her away from these things Blanche often resorts to lies to prevent other people and possibly herself from seeing the truth, which ultimately leads to her destruction - Stanley's greatest desire is to maintain his dominant position as head of the family, but his marriage to Stellla is an ongoing cycle of sexual desire and violence when Blanche threatens his domination of his family Stanley decides to destroy her by exposing her past and by raping her Truth vs. Illusion is a theme mostly playing out through Blanche and Stanley - Blanche has trouble looking at the unvarnished truth because of this she lives in the dimly lit world of half-truths and illusion hiding behind her refined, often manipulative, southern manners, but Stanley is bluntly honest and crude and he despises lying but has no compassiom for others - he uses the truth as a weapon to control and destroy Blanche - for Stella compassion overrides truth and she believes her sister's behavior is understandable considering the tragic outcome of Blanche's marriage in the end, Stella chooses illusion over truth in order to preserve her marriage - Repression & Dependence repression and dependence speak to the place context, a time when women were expected to be dependent on men, both financially and emotionally, a dependence that dictated the course of their lives - the death of her young husband and the loss of her family home have made Blanche especially vulnerable Stella's financial emotional and sexual dependence on her husband Stanley trapped her in a wife with a horrible man who abuses her and rapes her sister Class Differences - class differences are depicted through the characters clash in social classes - Blanche bases her identity on being a refined southern-belle who appreciates the finer things in life Stella has left her upper-class background behind to join Stanley Blanche sees her sisters choice as a big step down in social status but low-class Stanley rips away Blanche's mask of superiority, disconfirms Blanche's view of him as no better than an animal, represented by the inhuman jungle voices and lurid reflections when he rapes her Passion & Sexuality - passion and sexuality of characters in the play reflect the way they view the world - Blanche's sexual exploits are away for her to escape the reality of her husband's suicide and the role she played in it Symbols: Light both dim and harsh light is used to underscore the theme of truth versus illusion: dim light symbolizes Blanche's world of illusion because it helps to disguise the truth about herself Stanley exudes a confident animal sexuality that binds him to his wife Stella Stella is possessed by a need to fulfill that sexual passion for Stanley, but Stanley also uses sexuality as a weapon raping Blanche in order to dominate her - for example she asks Mitch to place apaper lantern over a bulb to dim the glaring light in order to hide her true age - later, Mitch mentions to Blanche that she refuses to be seen in the harsh glare of the sun - he finds this suspicious, „I've never had a real good look at you" - Blanche worries that if Mitch knows her real age or the details of her life in Laurel he won't marry her in contrast harsh lights represents the naked truth especially is seen by Stanley and Mitch - when Mitch wants to find out Blanche's age he removes the paper lantern exposing Blanche to the harsh light of the naked light bulb Blanche finds this action insulting but Mitch sees it as truthful - Blanche believes a woman should be allowed deceit to protect your vanity and a gentleman should understand this need however for Mitch and Stanley the main goal is to expose the facts plain and simple to show this, author Tennessee Williams has the Kowalski apartment lit with glaring lights soon after Blanche arrives at the apartment, she tells Stella to turn off the overhead („I won't be looked at in this merciless glare") - Blanche carries many unpleasant truths within herself she would prefer not to see - Flowers the other key symbol the title of the play establishes a connection between desire and death, loss or destruction: the streetcar named desire brings Blanche to another streetcar called cemeteries and then to Elysian Fields, a greek reference to the afterlife: Blanche blames the sexual escapades of her ancestors for the loss of belle reve, Blanche's sexual escapades led to the loss of her job and her reputation, Blanche's husband kills himself after his affair with another man is discovered, finally Blanche loses her sanity after she is raped by Stanley the flowers in the play become the perfect symbol for this connection between desire and death - Stella complements Blanche's desirability saying ,,You are fresh as a daisy", yet Blanche references death in her reply ,,one that's been picked a few days" Mitch brings Blanche roses as an expression of his desire for her, just as Blanche's inappropriate flirtation with the young man collecting newspaper payments ends and when Mitch and Blanche have a falling out, a Mexican woman appears selling flowers for the death.