A04 for a streetcar named desire

A04 for a streetcar named desire

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  • Created on: 04-06-12 12:14
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A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Historical background
Although Williams was working on the play during the Second World War, its setting in time (in the
years after World War Two) is of no real importance.
What is important, however, is its setting in terms of place:
America
Historical Background
Pre-Civil War (1861-65), the American South was to a great extent representative of its
stereotypical image ­ think "Gone with the Wind" ­ with cotton plantations, a landed elite
who flaunted their inherited wealth and gentility and a slavery system based around the
flourishing industries of tobacco and cotton.
The Stereotypical South
Historical Background

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However, slavery was regarded as evil by the Northern States, although the Southern States
regarded it as essential for their tobacco and cotton industries
When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 he promised (in a bid to keep the
Union from breaking up) that slavery would continue to be legal in states where it already
existed
A Divided Country
Historical Background
At first the Northern half of the United States wanted only to stop slavery spreading to other
states, but gradually as anti-slavery feeling…read more

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Historical Background
In the play, the character of Blanche symbolises the crumbling grandeur of Southern
plantations
Stanley is the new American in the new America
He is an immigrant who believes that he too can achieve the American Dream…read more

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