A Streetcar Named Desire

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by kriskingsley
Last updated 8 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Literature
Grade:
12

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

PLOT SUMMARY

Harold "Mitch" Mitchell:casting: Tobey Maguire

Stanley Kowalski:casting: Ed Westwick

Stella Kowalskicasting: Leighton Meester

Blanche DuBoiscasting: Kate Hudson

Caste of Main Characters

TIME PERIODThe 1940s was dominated by World War II. Because of the amount of soldiers going off to fight the war, women had to fill in for them at their jobs. Once the war ended and the men returned, great changes were made. African Americans would no longer accept lower status, the family farm was no longer an ideal, and women pushed for more rights. This time period is fitting for A Streetcar Named Desire because it was a time during which women felt empowered by their new-found independence, creating strong and iconic feminine leaders, which is what Blanche DuBois wished to be. She, like the feminist motivaters in the 1940s, has strong opinions and is not afraid to speak her mind, as she did when speaking to Stella about the rudeness of her husband, Stanley.

1.) LightThe light symbolizes the negative effects of aging and the desire for women to keep others ignorant of their imperfections. For example, when Blanche insists that she only see Mitch or dine in dim lighting, it becomes obvious that this is due to her inability to grasp perfection as she grows older, and wishes to keep the idea and vision of being young and beautiful alive for Mitch and other suitors. Beauty, like her innocence and sanity, has been lost to Blanche, and the absence of light only extenuates Blanche’s ignorance of accepting her life is now different and chaotic. It keeps her unable to see the truth, as a light would in the dark, which allows her to live the temporary fantasy of a perfect life. 2.) Varsouviana PolkaThe Varsouviana Polka represents Blanche’s dark past; the loss of the happiness she had previously felt before she became used and deceived within the darkness of her mind. The song reminds Blanche of how life has cheated her, and continues to do so through the actions of Stanley and Mitch, as they do not fulfill her vision of a perfect suitor. Ultimately, the tune symbolizes the loss of sanity within Blanche and the pain she was subjected to through her life, first with her family and later with the unfaithfulness and suicide of her husband. It is the music which seeps into her mind that has turned her oblivious to true joy free of ridicule and pain.

Symbolism

Blanche DuBois, a fading southern bell, stays for a time with her sister Stella and her husband, Stanley. Stanley and Blanche grow increasingly hateful of one another throughout the play, especially when Blanche ties herself to one of Stanley's friends. As the tension between them begins to rule everyone's daily lives, the tragedy that is Blanche's downfall begins to become apparent. A story of the desire for youth and happiness and how easy it is to go estray, A Streetcar Named Desire is an intriguing story with which the audience with be able to connect deeply.


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