Streetcar Named Desire

Published: 2021-06-29 07:01:36
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Category: English

Type of paper: Essay

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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a classic of American theater. Thomas P. Adler said that "it was the finest play ever written for the American stage" (Kolin 1). Exactly this play determined the author's themes, thoughts and ideals. According to Harold Klerman, it is the only play that describes the personality, society and depicts realistically the reality of that time. The setting of the play took place in contemporary times. It is a story of a decline of a Southern lady Blanche DuBois. In this play, Williams disclose a wide range of themes. Among them are the themes of domestic violence, relationships of men and women, the fantasy and its confrontation with reality. One of the most important themes of the play turns around the relationships of the main characters, Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. These two characters are put in opposition. The climax of their opposition is the rape of Blanche. On one hand, this episode depicts a cruel attitude and immoral behavior, "Stanley is wrong and Blanche is right, the moralists agree" (Fleche 500). On the other hand, Blanche's rape was inevitable (Fleche 500). And through the characterization of Blanche and Stanley's relationship, I will argue that Blanche was raped.
Blanche DuBois comes to New Orleans to visit her sister Stella, who is married to rude and down-to-earth Stanley Kowalski. Blanche and Stanley did not like each other from the very first second they met each other. Blanche saw Stanley beat Stella and how he behaved as an animal, "the primary example of physical abuse against Stella occurs in Scene Three, when drunk and angry, Stanley first tosses the radio out the window and then charges after his pregnant wife and strikes her" (Koprince 46). Stanley is showed as a brutish person without moral qualities. However, Blanche is also not "an angel". Her previous life is not perfect and all the manners and tenderness is just a mask to hide her "dark" past and alcoholism. The only person who suspects her and wants to show her real face to everybody, "and yet it seems "natural" to read A Streetcar Named Desire as an allegorical journey toward Blanche's apocalyptic destruction at the hands of her "executioner," Stanley" (Fleche 504).

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