- Created by: madeleineross
- Created on: 02-06-19 16:17
- 11 scene 1 act play
- TRAGEDY (unities of tragedy - time, setting, action)
- Blanche is not an archetypal heroine - might represent Williams himself
- each scene ends with a tableaux?
- elements of expressionism within a realist play
- Stage directions - very descriptive (atypically so) - concerned with emotions - prose-like - emphasis on lights/music
- Motif of Polka music - Blanche is thinking about her husband - when only she can hear it, she is closer to insanity
- Elysian Fields = afterlife - idea that sex 'Desire' leads to death 'Cemeteries', which leads to the afterlife
- postwar setting 1947 (doesn't dwell on war - atypical)
- Melting pot of New Orleans - vibrant & mulit-cultural
- Patriachial society - Blanche is reliant upon men (and when she cannot rely upon them, she descends into madness)
- Lack of understanding about mental health - Blanche will undoubtably suffer poor treatment
- Old V New America (Blanche is Old America - isolated in New Orleans)
- Williams' sister had a lobotomy & was institutionalised
- Williams suffered from depression/alcoholism - was a homosexual
- America cinema at the height of its popularity - audiences influenced by the movies
- Audience of 1947 cheered when Blanche was *****
- unconventional techniques - expressionist evil shapes/jungle cries - were also used in The Glass Menagerie
- Drew on romantic myth of the South - but is clearly critical of it (also like The Glass Menagerie)
- Atypical stage directions - very detailed
- cast of film: Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh - have become synonymous with the roles
- does not criticise Blanche for her sexual history - instead excuses it due to her suffering - atypical argument
- Old v New America - topic regularly explored by American Writers (such as Eugene O'Neill)
- Howard Barnes: 'the Eugene O'Neill of the present period'
- Harold Clurman: 'virtually unique as a stage piece that is both personal and social'
- JC Trewin: 'a squalid anecdote of a nymphomaniac's decay in a New Orleans slum'
- Harold Hobson: 'strictly and even puritanically'