(Streetcar/Malfi) Societal Corruption

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 25-02-19 17:02
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  • Societal Corruption
    • Duchess of Malfi
      • Italian Court
        • 'Like plum trees that grow crooked over standing pools'
          • 'Standing' suggests contamination + disease
            • 'pools' incites reflection/ judgement
          • 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
          • 'o'erladen with fruit.'
            • Weight of Upper Classes ('fruit') creates a crooked class system
            • Bible states 'you will recognise them (Jesus's followers) by their fruits'
            • Blble states 'nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit'
              • Lucy Webster: A 'world that is more sinned against than sinning'
      • French Court
        • 'Like a common fountain whence should flow pure silver drops'
          • Hints at Duchess' reference to 'diamonds' as she is virtuous
          • Alludes to the 'fountain of youth', suggesting purity prolongs life
            • However, Duchess' destruction suggests corruption drives society
          • 'Like a cedar planted by a spring'
            • In the Old Testament cedar was used to build the palace of Jerusalem
            • Source of flowing water, pure nutrients
              • Currents represent change & sharing wealth
    • Streetcar Named Desire
      • New Orleans
        • 'primary colours'/'raw colours of childhood's spectrum'
          • 'Primary' alludes to the patriarchal society of post-WW2 America (men replaced women in industry)
          • 'them coloured lights'
            • Sexual Euphemism
            • Colloquial speech, Stanley represents a recessive society
              • New Orleans was seen as a 'melting pot' of cultural influences
          • 'red stained package'
            • Men were typically the breadwinners and provided for the family
            • The jungle reference suggests these attitudes are still backward
              • Darwinian idea of 'survival of the fittest'
            • Represents Stanley as a predator (dangerous to women/ Blanche)
              • Eric Bentley sees the play as a clash of "species"
          • 'primary' excludes other players as collateral damage
            • 'childhood' could suggest that for men, the world is a playground, and women are the victims
      • Women
        • 'Rhinestone Tiara'/'A pair of queens?'
          • Oxymoronic phrase creates an affected effect (fake authority)
          • Despite the way they outnumber him, Stanley remains omnipotent
          • 'I am the king around here'
            • Stanley controls the poker game as the patriarch
            • The ideal of the American Dream
              • Shawn Alff describes the play as a 'heathens paradise'
          • 'Lay her cards on the table'
            • 'lay' suggests surrender, and a possible sexual euphemism
            • 1940's women had been robbed of the freedom they had experienced during the war
            • As a man, Stanley is not inclined to hide his secrets or reveal them


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