A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 3

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  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    • Blanche
      • We learn a lot about Blanche in this scene
      • Her Vanity makes her lie about Stella's age
      • Her inability to deal with reality makes her claim that she has come to help out because Stella has not been well
      • None of her lies are malicious
      • She tells lies in order to protect herself from reality and the tragedies she has to endure
      • Her seductive posturing half undressed in the gap in the curtains appears instinctive when men are around
      • This highlights the contradictions in her character :  the genteel Southern lady who expects men to stand up when she comes in and who cannot bear a rude remark or vulgar action and the cheap seductress
      • Blanche buying the lantern  both literally and metaphorically light threatens to reveal Blanche’s lies
      • Blanche’s purchase of the Chinese lantern to put over the light bulb is again symbolic of her inability to face reality.
      • Blanche’s determination to take Stella away from Stanley is not forgiven or forgotten by Stanley and makes him all the more determined to be rid of his unwanted visitor
    • Stanley
      • Stanley’s loud and domineering behaviour during the poker game as well as his loud shirts emphasise his manliness
      • Stanley throwing down the watermelon emphasises his disregard both for the house and for Stella.  It foreshadows the radio incident and hints at his capacity for violence
      • Stanley’s drinking symbolises destructive behaviour as he commits domestic violence
      • His shower symbolises his attempts to wash away his sins i.e. hitting Stella
    • Stanley and Stella
      • Stella and Stanley’s reunion conveys the extent of their desire for each other. Stella’s desire for Stanley is so great that she is prepared to forgive him anything
      • Their “animal-like” moans when they embrace on the front steps illustrates their animal-like passion for each other
      • There is a sense of King Kong in Stanley picking up Stella and carrying her away.  This reminds us of his primitive/ape like qualities
      • Stella choosing Stanley foreshadows the outcome of the play.  She has decided whose side she is on
    • Blanche and Mitch
      • Mitch is the complete opposite of Stanley.  He is kind, understanding, sympathetic and shy
      • Blanche’s conversation with Mitch at the end of the scene emphasises the class differences between them and highlights the efforts he is making to overcome them
      • The description of their dancing symbolises that ultimately they are ill-suited to each other – “Mitch dances clumsily, mimicking Blanche’s grand movements”
    • Stagecraft
      • The harsh, jarring discordant piano sounds highlight the harshness of what is happening on stage – Stanley’s violence

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