(Malfi/Streetcar) Power

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 25-03-19 14:14
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  • Power
    • Malfi
      • 'Like plum trees that grow crooked over standing pools'
        • 'o'erladen with fruit.'
          • Bible states 'you will recognise them (Jesus's followers) by their fruits'
          • Weight of Upper Classes ('fruit') creates a crooked class system
          • Blble states 'nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit'
            • Lucy Webster: A 'world that is more sinned against than sinning'
        • Natural image used to describe an unnatural society, creates a recessive effect (Like Stanley)
          • Simile references the 'tree of life' in the Garden of Eden and the 'forbidden fruit'
        • Lack of sustenance/ nutrients. Sycophants seek further corruption
        • 'Standing' suggests contamination + disease
          • 'pools' incites reflection/ judgement
      • 'like diamonds we are cut with our own dust'
        • High Society dances 'silently behind crystal panels' suggesting 'a sort of transparent mirror'
          • Webster's zealous & thematic use of jewel symbolism
          • Webster uses this play to reflect the secrecy & corruption of the English court
        • 'own dust' reflects incestuous feelings
          • Elizabethan belief that fate was written in the stars/ predetermined by God
          • Elizabethan belief that when one twin dies the other's soul does as well
        • 'I have this night digged up a mandrake'
          • Aphrodisiac + poison (once uprooted it drives someone insane)
            • TS Eliot: Webster always saw the 'skull beneath the skin'
              • Webster uses this play to reflect the secrecy & corruption of the English court
        • All defined by materialism and wealth. (Webster fails to give her a name - a prize to be won)
          • Status of high society was a mask disguising corruption
        • Ferdinand recites a final couplet when he dies
          • Virtue is often described in this period as that which 'shines forth'
    • Streetcar
      • 'primary colours'/'raw colours of childhood's spectrum'
        • 'red stained package'
          • Men were typically the breadwinners and provided for the family
          • Represents Stanley as a predator (dangerous to women/ Blanche)
            • Eric Bentley sees the play as a clash of "species"
          • The jungle reference suggests these attitudes are still backward
            • Darwinian idea of 'survival of the fittest'
        • 'them coloured lights'
          • Colloquial speech, Stanley represents a recessive society (power based on ignorance)
            • New Orleans was seen as a 'melting pot' of cultural influences
          • Sexual Euphemism
        • 'primary' excludes other players as collateral damage
          • 'childhood' could suggest that for men, the world is a playground, and women are the victims
        • 'Primary' alludes to the patriarchal society of post-WW2 America (men replaced women in industry)
      • 'sunken treasures'/ 'rhinestone tiara'
        • Juxtaposition of cheapness with a royal symbol creates an affected effect
        • Ironic image - wants to be seen as a 'queen' of high society
          • Patriarchal/ social opinions would view her as of the lowest class, no better than a prostitute
        • Superiority stems from Southern upbringing at 'Belle Reve'
          • After the Civil War, Southern wealth melted away as slave labour was abolished by Lincoln in 1863
            • Stanley sees her as a 'pirate' as her existence violates his social views
      • Manipulation
        • 'Tarantulas Arms'
          • Metaphor for fallen women in society no longer treated as humans
            • Southern Gothic literature focused on grotesque, supernatural themes & damaged, delusional characters

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