Scene 1 notes of Streetcar


·         A 2 story building is introduced in the Elysian Fields with a ‘raffish charm’.  The area is delicate and romanticised with the ‘blue piano [that] expresses the spirit of the life which goes on here.’

·         Stanley and his friends return from the butchers calling for Stanley

·         The first interaction between Stella and Stanley makes it evident that their marriage is a typical one of the 1940s patriarchy

Stanley [bellowing]: Hey, there! Stella, baby!

Stella [mildly]: Don’t holler at me like that. Hi, Mitch.

>       The shift from bellowing to mildly shows that Stella is immediately set up as a meek wife despite trying to defend herself. She doesn’t properly address Stanley but does to Mitch

·         Stanley throws a package of meat to Stella

He heaves the package at her. She cries out in protest but manages to catch it: then she laughs breathlessly.

>       Despite her protests, Stella still catches the meat; meat representing everything raw and masculine suggests that Stella is so adorned by everything about Stanley that she can’t see past the abusive and predatory aspects of his character

·         After Stanley leaves, Blanche arrives, immediately confused and out of place

Her appearance is incongruous to this setting…Daintily dressed in white suit…earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat…Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light…suggests a moth.

>       Blanche is immediately set up with a faded belle complex with her fragility and purity being emphasised

·         Her initial confusion is why her sister lives in the depraved Elysian Fields given their aristocratic background

I’m looking for my sister, Stella DuBois. I mean – Mrs Stanley Kowalski.

>       Blanche initially addresses Stella as she properly knows her, as her sister, before faltering and calling her married name. But she uses all of Stanley’s name not just last name and coming from Blanche, it gives an accurate representation of women’s roles in 1940s as wives and mothers. And Stanley’s name acts as a medium way of communicating with Stella through other people such as Eunice.

·         Eunice lets in Blanche, much to her disgust, into Stella’s flat

Eunice [defensively, noticing Blanche’s look]: It’s sort of messed up right now but when it’s clean it’s real sweet.

Blanche: Is it?

>       Blanche doesn’t even try to hide her distaste both in her body language and speech showing her vanity and sense of superiority. Seeming that she doesn’t hide it, it suggests that this is her natural behaviour and probably doesn’t realise how engrained it is in her. Meanwhile Eunice displays not only decency but pride and compassion for her home, reflective of the community

·         After Eunice is forced out by Blanche, Blanche finds the whiskey instinctively

Blanche sits in a chair very stiffly with her shoulders slightly hunched and her legs pressed close together…She pours a half tumbler of whiskey and tosses it down. She carefully replaces the bottle and washes out


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