I'm taking the English Literature AS exam in May and I have to admit I'm struggling to analyse the ideas behind Streetcar. I thought it may be useful for everybody if we used this thread to discuss the key themes/ideas etc. and what may come up!
Hope to hear some of your ideas soon!
im edexcel i need to reread a streetcar again im going to make notes on characters and themes whilst doing this, maybe doing extra reading will help your understanding?
sex and death; illusion versus reality; isolation
Costume shows contrast
"Daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice... As if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party"
Stanley "roughly dressed in blue denim work clothes"
Well if you forgive me he's common
Gaudy seed bearer
Dramatic climax the rape
We had this date from the beginning
Delusion versus self awareness
Daintily dressed etc
Imagery of a moth
"Turn that over-light off! I won't be looked at in this merciless glare"
Stella is more pratical than Blanche, for Blanche New Orleans is a form of social afterlife but Stella replies "no honey those are the L and N tracks"
Blanche and Stanley introduces illusion and Old south
Stanley's bright colours -able to face up to reality
Gaudy seed bearer
Stanley is impervious to Blanche's flirtation "since easiest manhood the centre of his life has been pleasure with women"
Would you be able to share your light quotes?
I'm doing the WJEC board AS English lit, but maybe these ideas we have done in class will still be useful ( it is the same text after all)
- Focus on Williams' stage directions - how is Stanley's masculinity and attempts to regain power in the house (lost to Blanche) presented?
- Contextual information
-- German Expressionism (helps to research this individually) : developed in 1920's Berlin, culture and arts, reflects use of colour, motifs and mise en scene
-- Literary Gothic - portrayal of mental illness and delusion (Blanche), 'flores por los mortes' (references to death), common
-- Southern Gothic - reference to Williams' background
-- Williams' biographic - his sister Rose was sectioned and had a lobotomy after allegedly being sexually assaulted by her father, her accusations were believed by all to be false and instead she was perceived to be mad - useful for analysing the climatic scene of the 'rape' (interpreted differently) of Blanche, Blanche's loneliness/isolation/stigma of her insanity/presentation of male-female relationships Williams' father was abusive (biographic not to be used too deeply)
- Role of fate 'The Four Deuces' , 'poker night' - symbol of masculinity, excludes women , Blanche's fate inevitable from the start
Stanley and Blanche
Blanche and Mitch
Stanley and Stella
Motif of light - reveals her insecurities - 'paper lantern' 'nothing I hate more than a naked light'
Hope this helped??? Just a quick amateurish brainstorm from me at this time when I am v v tired x
The higher English exam was yesterday but good luck for yours!!
"gay reading" is the way I've been taught - the idea of a promiscuously gay writer (Williams) using a mouthpiece (Blanche) to take his revenge on the heterosexual norm.