A Streetcar Named Desire Quotes and Analysis

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Streetcar named Desire  Context Post-war America -          A time of change with American growing as a global superpower after the destruction in Europe with the entrance of many European immigrants e.g. from Poland -          Resulting in a juxtaposition between the old genteel America and a new booming consumerist society – represented by the binary opposition of Blanche and Stanley -          Entrance of immigrants challenged American identity and it was also a time in developing a new meaning for American -          A time where women who were able to work during the war was made to return to the home as housewives defined by their fertility Southern -          Represents the old America built on plantations forming a landed elite with its own culture -          Encapsulated in Lost Cause myth surrounding the Romanticized defeat by the Yankees o   ‘the myth of the Lost Cause and the moral superiority of losing defined and fed our romantic sense of ourselves, our specialness, our region marked by a defeat that wasn’t quite a defeat in a war that wasn’t quite over.’ Tennessee Williams -          He never was able to fit inside the world as a homosexual in a heterosexual world o   Suffered from depression and alcoholism o   Relate to madness as an escape from reality -          A southerner who was able to relate to the decline of the South -          Stanley is modeled after his father and other abusive males in his childhood Metatheatre -          Awareness of role playing within a play -          Self-conscious awareness in a play of its status as a theatrical performance encapsulated in Blanche with her costume trunk -          Also a mixture of comedy and tragedy where the protagonist is both comical but arousing sympathy Plastic theatre -          Non-realistic use of objects, props, staging, costume to mirror a character’s feelings o   Most evident by the use of music which mirrors her emotions, her thoughts Setting New Orleans -          A bustling mixture of odd personalities, cultures filled with drink and sex that is very much at odds with Blanche’s perceived moral superiority and purity -          This represented the new American society, an egalitarian society where only the fittest survive that was almost primal in nature o   Also a consumerist society fuelled by greed and amorality represented by Stanley Quote Explanation [Two women, one white and one coloured, are taking the air on the steps of the building… for New Orleans is a cosmopolitan city where there is a relatively warm and easy intermingling of races in the old part of town.] (S1) ·         Mixture of black and white represents an egalitarian society contrasted against the old America build on by slavery of the blacks. ·         At once, Blanche’s bringing up as a landed Southerner is at odds with her setting ·         Foreshadows conflict between old and new ‘In the state of Lousiana we have the Napoleonic code according to which what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa.’ – Stanley ‘The Kowalskis and the DuBois have different notions’…


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