Context: A Streecar Named Desire

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  • Context: A Streetcar named Desire
    • Tennessee Williams
      • Williams was gay and his experience in an unfriendly era informed his work.
      • Most of his stories were founded from his own life: alcoholism, depression, lonliness and insanity,
      • His husband died of cancer
      • As a child he nearly died from a case of diptheria.
      • His sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia
      • His parents were resentful towards each other, but his dad was away a lot while he was young so he lacked a relationship with him.
    • The American Dream
      • The definition is opportunity. It is having opportunity to come from nothing and being able to obtain everything.
      • This influences the play as the characters in it, specifically Blanche, are consumed by the idea of money and being a higher class.
      • Stanley believes he has the American dream, after being Polish living in America.
    • The American Century
      • The American Century is a period since the middle of the 20th century  largely dominated by the United States in political, economic, and cultural terms.
    • Gender roles in 1940s America
      • As it was WW2, many women had to take on the roles of men whilst they were away fighting. Proving they could do 'men's work'
    • Plastic Theatre
      • It is the use of props or staging to impress upon the audience more abstract ideas.
      • It heightens the awareness of characterisations and events
    • Southern Gothic
      • Southern Gossip is a genre prevalent in literature from the 19th century to this day.
      • It includes the presence of irrational, horrific, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses; grotesque characters; dark humor, and an overall angst-ridden sense of alienation.
      • Examples being the shadows on the wall that Blanche fears and the **** that occurs.
    • Southern Belle
      • Southern Belle is a stock character representing a young woman of the American Deep South's upper socioeconomic class.
      • This character is very representative of Blanche, as she remains polite and respectful with how she talks to everyone.
    • Immigration in America in the 1900s
      • After the depression of the 1890s, immigration jumped from a low of 3.5 million in that decade to a high of 9 million in the first decade of the new century
      • After 1914, immigration dropped off because of the war, and later because of immigration restrictions imposed in the 1920s.
    • The American South
      • A subculture of the United States. The combination of its unique history and the fact that many Southerners maintain an identity separate from the rest of the country has led to its being the most studied and written-about region of the U.S.
      • Thousands of Northerners and foreigners have migrated to it ... but Southerners they will not become. For this is still a place where you must have either been born or have "people" there, to feel it is your native ground

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