A Streetcar Named Desire

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  • A Streetcar Named Desire: Critical Analysis
    • Feminist Perspective
      • The polar opposite attitudes of Blanche and Stella invite varied responses from a feminist audience
        • Stelle represents the forward thinking woman who is rising up in the world and believes in equality
        • Blanche represents the woman who accepts her inferior place in society and does not want to fight for social equality much like woman within the Old World that the Southern Belle is very much clinging onto with a fierce desperation.
      • Jacqueline O'Connor: Women are categorized as "variations on the Southern gentlewoman, whose desire to perpetuate the values of a genteel aristocratic past results in sexual frustration and maladjustment evidenced in promiscuity, hysterio and even insanity.
        • Williams demonstrates how "society, threatened by madness, reacts by suppressing behaviour that appears menacing; his plays suggest that individual freedom and originality are sacrificed to maintain the community's illusions about normalcy"
      • The largely male dominated society does the censoring and exorcising [of  any transgression], something  particularly easy to accomplish when the woman is dependent upon the man, either economically for sustenance or emotionally for satisfaction of desire
    • Marxist Perspective
      • The tension between Blanche and Stanley can be viewed as a conflict between the social classes
        • Blanche represents the Old World of aristocracy and capitalism with clear social class divides and inequalities
        • Stanley juxtaposes Blanche; he represents the New World with progressive attitudes and increasing equality, as well as the merging and intermarrying of the previously segregated social classes
      • The cyclical nature of the Modern-American Tragedy is microcosmic of the decline of strict capitalism in the 1940s.
    • Critics


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