A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 4

Hi, just thought id make a quick mindmap with notes from A Streecar Named Desire Scene 3. Hope its helpful. Im not too sure what my exam board is but enjoy!! :)

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  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    • Blanche
      • Blanche fails to understand Stella’s passionate relationship with her husband.  It seems that with all her sexual experience she has never experienced true love
      • it was indeed a streetcar named “Desire” which brought her to Stella’s.  Metaphorically, Stella, Stanley and Mitch soon learn that Blanche’s search for sexual desire led to her expulsion from Laurel, while her family’s need to shroud desire and cover up “epic fornications” led to the break-up of the Belle Reve estate and the impoverishment of the present generation
      • Blanche tells Stella that sheer desire is no basis for a marriage. She invokes the streetcar, “that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another” as a metaphor for what she believes Stella feels
      • This scene also reveals Blanche to be entirely calculating when it comes to relations with men, “I think of money in terms of what it does for you”
      • Blanche’s threat to “laugh in Stella’s face” if Stella tries to claim that her attraction to Stanley is just “one of those electric things” shows that Blanche does not truly believe in love.  Throughout the play she claims to possess romantic notions but this scene reveals her to be a cold cynic
      • Scene Four also contains one of Blanche’s most famous speeches in which she describes how human kind has evolved too far past the beast that Stanley represents for Stella to reduce herself to his level, “There’s even something – sub-human  - something not quite to the stage of humanity”
    • Stella
      • Although Stella technically condemns Stanley’s propensity for violence, it is clear that his violent nature heightens Stella’s desire for him e.g. she finds the light bulb incident on their honeymoon “thrilling”
      • The stage directions at the beginning of the scene which liken Stella’s face after a night with Stanley to an “Eastern idol” suggest that there is something mystical about their relationship
      • Stella has lost patience with Blanche’s hysterical plans and her irritation shows in her dry, ironical comments.  She begins to resent her sister’s disapproval and harsh criticism of Stanley
      • Indeed the difference in the sisters’ attitudes to passion, shows that despite their common background and social values, they are very different characters and this influences Stella’s decision to choose Stanley, “I’m not in anything I have a desire to get out of” and “Stella has embraced him with both arms, fiercely and in full view of Blanche”
    • Stanley
      • Having overheard Blanche’s condemnation of him as a “brute” and as an “ape-man”, Stanley now has even more reason to dislike Blanche and an even greater wish to find a way to get rid of her.  His “triumphant grin” at the close of the scene promises ill for Blanche
    • Stagecraft
      • The use of the locomotion is clever as its noise means that Stella and Blanche are unaware that Stanley has returned. It also symbolises the idea of fate as once Stanley overhears Blanche’s condemnation of him, her fate is now sealed and he will not rest until she is gone
      • The constant sound of the Blue Piano symbolises sadness and loss.  It plays again at the moment that Stella chooses Stanley
  • Blanche tells Stella that sheer desire is no basis for a marriage. She invokes the streetcar, “that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another” as a metaphor for what she believes Stella feels

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