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Tennessee Williams Essay, Research Paper

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Tennessee Williams, an American dramatist, has been known as the most outstanding American southern playwright. He won his first Pulitzer Prize with Streetcar Named Desire. In this drama, Williams shows the demand for belief in human value against the natural realistic universe. He uses symbols to develop the characters and subject of semblance poetries world within Streetcar Named Desire. The two chief characters are Blanche DuBois, an blue blood southern belle, and Stanley Kowalski the & # 8220 ; gaudy seed-bearer. & # 8221 ; Blanche lives in the superficial universe she has made for herself while Stanley lives in the rough realistic universe. The confrontation between Blanche and Stanley is shown throughout the drama and is so terrible that one must be destroyed.

Williams uses specific names to depict his characters. The name Blanche comes from a Gallic word intending white and her last name Dubois significance forests. This corresponds with Blanches character because she uses the Gallic linguistic communication to capture Mitch and to look more intelligent. White being the colour of pureness suggests that she is pure and guiltless although it will shortly be shown that this is an semblance that she has engrossed in. She has come from Belle Reve, besides of Gallic descent intending a beautiful dream, which is the plantation where she and Stella grew up. She has lost the plantation and in a since she has lost the dream she one time had. The reaching at Stella & # 8217 ; s is her last hope to recapture this dream.

She is described as have oning white and holding a moth like visual aspect. In literature a moth represents psyche. So it is possible to see her full ocean trip as the journey of her psyche. She describes her ocean trip: & # 8220 ; They told me to take a tram named Desire, and so reassign to one called Cemeteries and sit six blocks and acquire off at & # 8211 ; Elysian Fieldss

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( Williams 15 ) . If one investigates Blanches past one can truly understand what this citation symbolizes. Blanche left her place to fall in her sister, because her life was a suffering wreck in her former topographic point of abode. She admits, at one point in the narrative, that & # 8220 ; after the decease of Allen ( her hubby ) intimacies with aliens was all I seemed able to make full my empty bosom with & # 8221 ; ( Williams 118 ) . She had sexual dealingss with anyone who would hold to it. This is the first measure in her ocean trip & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; Desire. & # 8221 ; She said that she was forced into this state of affairs because decease was subjective and & # 8220 ; The opposite ( of decease ) is desire & # 8221 ; ( Williams 120 ) . She escaped decease in her usage of desire. However, she could non get away & # 8220 ; decease & # 8220 ; for long. She was a instructor at a high school, and at one point she had familiarities with a seventeen-year-old pupil. The issue was non concealed for long. The abuse of this caused her to be fired and destroyed her image. She was fundamentally banned from Laurel and sent on her following journey & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; Cemeteries. & # 8221 ; Her concluding finish was Elysian Fields. Elysian William claude dukenfields are the fabulous resting-places of the Gods. This is the topographic point of the life dead. Blanche came to Elysian Fields to bury her atrocious yesteryear, seeking in her psyche to hold a fresh start in life.

Blanche has basically removed herself from the world of her life. She has made up this illusional universe that she now lives in. The decease of her hubby has haunted her throughout her life and the loss of Belle Reve was in a sense a loss of her societal position.

Since her reaching in Elysian Fields she has buried her yesteryear by her semblance of what should be. She has made up a good part of her yesteryear for the bulk of the drama. She doesn & # 8217 ; t neglect stating her yesteryear but she merely offers portion of her history in fright that this is her last hope of endurance. Her brushs with Mitch give her hope and she uses her sense of

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artlessness to keep on to him. Stanley, the fact-finding realist, crushes her hope by uncovering, to Mitch, the grounds he has found on her. During scene nine when Mitch confronts Blanche with the world of her life she says & # 8220 ; I don & # 8217 ; t pragmatism. I want charming! & # 8230 ; I don & # 8217 ; t state the truth. I tell what ought to be the truth. And if that is iniquitous, so allow me be damned for it! & # 8221 ; ( Williams 117 ) . This is surely clear grounds that she is afraid of world and goes & # 8220 ; back to her ain psychotic beliefs about herself & # 8221 ; ( Falk 96 ) .

Blanche is shown continuously taking long, hot baths. She says they help her composure her nervousnesss. In the drama she is seen stating & # 8220 ; Here I am, all newly bathed and scented, and experiencing like a trade name new human being! & # 8220 ; ( Williams 37 ) . Actually these bath scenes symbolize two things. First she subconsciously hopes to cleanse her wickednesss off. The baths are a manner to sublimate her from the yesteryear. She feels that because of her inability to assist her hubby she is the cause of his self-destruction. Secondly & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; they make her squeal with pleasance like a kid & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Bedient 50 ) . This suggests her desire to be immature once more. She lies to Mitch about her age and subsequently says a adult female must make small semblances. This so goes back to the illusional universe she has made for herself.

Although Blanche does non acknowledge to imbibing frequently, & # 8220 ; No, I & # 8211 ; seldom touch it. & # 8221 ; ( Williams 30 ) she does. This is a clear illustration of Blanche lying to herself and others because of her desire to be something other than what she truly is. She pours it into her bottomless cavity of emptiness. She uses the intoxicant to submerge out the dismaying sound of the music heard when her hubby shoot himself.

Symbolism is shown in assorted ways. Williams uses astrological marks to stress the features of his characters. Blanche, born under the Sign of Virgo, shows many

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of its traits. Virgos are & # 8220 ; rational, critical, crabbed, astute, logical, methodical, practical, and has learning ability. They can miss assurance and demand changeless reassurance & # 8220 ; ( marks in item: Virgo ) . This coincides with Blanche because she use to be an English instructor but was fired. Furthermore, when foremost come ining he apartment she acts in a really critical mode ; & # 8220 ; Oh, I & # 8217 ; m non traveling to be hypocritical, I & # 8217 ; m traveling to be candidly critical about it & # 8230 ; Merely Mr. Edgar Allen Poe! & # 8211 ; Could make it justice & # 8230 ; Why didn & # 8217 ; t you tell me & # 8230 ; that you had to populate in these conditions & # 8221 ; ( Williams 20 ) . Blanche is besides a character that needs reassurance about her expressions. She mentions to her sister, Stella, that she hasn & # 8217 ; t set on an ounce in ten old ages and asks about her visual aspect. However, she so criticizes her sister by stating her to watch her hips and possibly make something about her hair, non cognizing that she is pregnant. Blanche can be described as the & # 8216 ; perfect & # 8217 ; Virgo if compared to its traditional traits.

The name Stanley Kowalski is merely that, Stanley Kowalski. It has no significance ; it & # 8217 ; s merely an ordinary name. Williams uses this name because it stands as world. Stanley is the barbarous world of the drama. He wants nil but truth and will destruct anything other than that. Harmonizing to Harris & # 8220 ; Stanley destroys Blanche when he forces her to confront & # 8220 ; the indispensable and ineluctable world of things & # 8221 ; ( 85 ) . Williams images are juxtaposed with Stanley & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; pitiless and examining pragmatism & # 8221 ; ( Kernan 18 ) and his threatening & # 8220 ; universe of facts & # 8221 ; ( Corrigan 55 ) with Blanches phantasies.

Williams shows how Stanley relates to his astrological mark, which is Capricorn, otherwise known as the caprine animal, throughout the drama. On the positive side, his concluding ability is outstanding. He is socially oriented ; ever with his fire hook buddies either playing

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fire hook, bowling or in Thursday

vitamin E corner saloon. He is willing to work hard for what he wants. He is a salesman and has to go a batch. As with Capricorns, Stanley is really leery and frequently fact-finding. When he hears of Belle Reve being lost he wants to analyze Blanches properties and the bank documents. His involvements are merely in the Napoleonic Code ( he loses money ) . He is a tyrannizing individual and animalistic in his ways. He wants what is his and has been referred to as the “gaudy seed-bearer.“

Stanley & # 8217 ; s animalistic behaviour is seen from the really start of the drama. He is the & # 8220 ; king & # 8221 ; of his thrown. He strives for power and pride. What & # 8217 ; s his is his and he makes sure of that. He is demanding and expects things be the manner they ought to be in his head. Stanley feels & # 8220 ; sex peers domination & # 8221 ; ( Kazan 27 ) . He relates sex with force. This is seen when he becomes violent with Stella. He yells and hits her but when she leaves he calls for her like a lost kid. They so reunite and have sexual dealingss. Because he feels Blanche has invaded his Kingdom the lone manner he knows how to repossess it is by ravishing her. This sexual thrust of his is non merely evident with adult females but besides with his male friends though it is seen in a different manner. He dominates his friends by winning. He is the captain of the bowling squad and obsessed with fire hook games.

The symbolism of music plays a cardinal portion in the drama. The music describes a sense of decease and all of the bad things Blanche has encountered. It is heard when the world of Blanches life is gazing her in the face. In fact at one point it says of Blanche that & # 8220 ; The music is in her mind. & # 8221 ; The bluish piano playing Varsouviana music represents Blanches yesteryear. It is heard when as she explains the decease of her hubby. The Varsouviana polka was playing when she told her hubby what a shame he was and when he committed

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self-destruction. Because she blames herself for her hubby & # 8217 ; s decease the music symbolizes everything bad that has happened to her. The music is evident when she is telling the deceases of her household at Belle Reve. The music besides symbolizes bad things to come. It is heard when Stanley gives her a coach ticket to travel place ( i.e. back to graveyards ) and when Mitch confronts her with her yesteryear. The scenes that the music is most evident are ten and eleven. In scene ten the music is heard when Stanley is around the corner from the flat. Because we hear the music before he is even in the flat, Williams is puting up the scene to stop in some sort of calamity. The consequence will be the raping of Blanche by Stanley. In scene eleven the music is evident merely earlier and during the reaching of the physician and the matron. It is heard melting off as Blanche is escorted to the mental establishment. The music is the world of Blanches life. A world that she has used intoxicant and bathing to seek and free of it.

Williams correlates the illuming with Blanche in the drama. To Blanche the light represents world, the exact thing she is seeking to get away. She prefers to populate in a dim, semi-dark illusional universe. Because of Blanches sensitiveness to her aging looks she does non wish to be seen in the bright visible radiation. An illustration of this is when Mitch and her are dating she merely saw him at dark. When Blanches notices the bare visible radiation bulb in Stanley and Stella & # 8217 ; s room she buys a delicate Chinese lantern to soften the blaze. The lantern becomes a symbol of her fragileness and can be easy destroyed, as can Blanche. When Mitch and, subsequently, Stanley tear the lantern from the light bulb, it is as if they are assailing Blanche herself and destructing her universe of semblance.

Williams besides uses paper to typify Blanche. Like the piece of paper she carries,

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Blanche has been fragmented, severed, torn from one universe ( Belle Reve ) and slipped into another ( Stanley & # 8217 ; s New Orleans ) ( Kolin 456 ) . Her life has been that of paper. Her bole consists of verse forms from her dead hubby and paperss on Belle Reve. Before geting at Stella & # 8217 ; s, she sends her a wire. She is seen seting a paper lantern over the light bulb, composing on tissue paper to Shep, and vocalizing of paper Moons. Ironically while she is singing of paper Moons Stanley is fixing to give her walking documents out of Elysian Fields. To some, her life has been summed up by paperss.

Williams uses many different actions in the drama to qualify his characters. First the flirtatiousness of Blanche shows how she strives to be the centre of attending. Her promiscuous nature with immature work forces has been a agency of forgiveness to her. She is seen chat uping with Stanley, whom sees this as a menace. This action of hers causes him to look deeper into what she is truly approximately. When the work forces are holding a fire hook party she is seen dressing behind the drape but with light clambering on her. The sudden eruptions of challenge during the fire hook parties show the demand to turn out their manfulness, chiefly Stanley & # 8217 ; s manhood. The most outstanding action in the drama is the colza. The colza is the lone manner Stanley knows how to destruct Blanche He uses his laterality to proclaim what is his. By making this he feels he has won. In the last scene when Blanche is being taken away the work forces are playing seven card he-man and ironically Stanley is winning.

The drama & # 8220 ; A Streetcar Named Desire & # 8221 ; is one that uses symbolism to assist explicate the true significance of its characters. There were two chief characters Stanley and Blanche whose perceptual experiences of life were simply at struggle with one another. The assorted actions and the symbolic nature of Stanley and Blanche shows how their struggle could merely be

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resolved in one manner, the riddance of one or the other. Williams was one time quoted stating & # 8220 ; with out my symbols I might still be employed by the International Shoe Co. in St. Louis, & # 8221 ; and that, & # 8220 ; art is made out of symbols the manner our organic structure is made out of critical tissue, & # 8221 ; any & # 8220 ; play that is more of a dramatic verse form than a drama is bound to rest on metaphorical ways of expression. & # 8221 ; ( Adler 29 ) .

Adler, Thomas. A Streetcar Named Desire. Boston: Twayne Publisher, 1990.

Bedient, Calvin. & # 8220 ; There Are Lives that Desire Does Not Prolong: A Streetcar Named

Desire. & # 8221 ; Kolin 45-58.

Bloom, Harold, erectile dysfunction. Modern Critical Interpretations: Tennessee William & # 8217 ; s A Streetcar

Named Desire. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Corrogan, Mary Ann. & # 8220 ; Realism and Theatricalism in A Streetcar Named Desire. & # 8221 ; Bloom


Falk, Signi. & # 8220 ; The Southern Gentlewoman. & # 8221 ; Miller 94-102.

Harris, Laurilyn. & # 8220 ; Perceptual Conflict and the Perversion of Creativity In A Streetcar

Named Desire. & # 8221 ; Kolin 83-103

Kazan, Elia. & # 8220 ; Notebook for A Streetcar Named Desire. & # 8221 ; Miller 94-102.

Kernan, Alvin. & # 8220 ; Truth and Dramatic Mode in A Streetcar Named Desire. & # 8221 ; Bloom 17-19.

Kolin, Philip. & # 8220 ; It & # 8217 ; s merely a paper Moon & # 8221 ; : The Paper Ontologies in Tennessee William & # 8217 ; s A

Streetcar Named Desire. & # 8221 ; Modern Drama 40 ( 1997 ) : 454-467.

Kolin, Philip, erectile dysfunction. Confronting Tennessee William & # 8217 ; s A Streetcar Named Desire.

Nutmeg state: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Miller, Jordan, erectile dysfunction. Twentieth Century Interpretations of A Streetcar Named Desire. New

Jersey: Prentice -Hall, 1971.

& # 8220 ; Signs in Detail: Virgo. & # 8221 ; 11 November 2000


& # 8220 ; Tennessee Williams. & # 8221 ; 10 November 2000.

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Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Penguin Group, 1974