A Streetcar Named Desire - Quotes and Analysis

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Mxxxxl
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#1
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Can you guys share any unique or good quotes + analysis on ASND? It would be very helpful as I am struggling to find some
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0314Stuart
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#2
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A play that deals with a flawed character is, "A streetcar named Desire" by playwright Tennesse Williams. At the outset of the play we meet the neurotic Blanche Dubois, a fading southern Belle hiding a shameful past. Blanche, after finding herself in financial turmoil, has nowhere else to turn to other than her sister and brother-in-law Stella and Stanley Kowalski in their small apartment in New Orleans. As the play develops, the pressure Blanche exerts on their marriage makes for an explosive climax, where the true colours of each character are revealed. Williams effectively uses a variety of literary techniques, such as symbolism, character development, as well as developing key themes, for instance; self-deception and alcoholism to highlight and develop Blanche's flaw, her inability to deal with reality.

The actions Blanche must take to avoid reality, such as her pernicious remedy- alcohol, or her deviant intimacies with strangers have all but taken a damaging toll on her already fading mental health. At the outset of the play, Blanche is shown to in denial about her self-destructive habits. Stanley, the one responsible for her own eventual demise, questions her about the vanishing of his alcohol. Blanche replies; "I hardly touch it." The builds characterisation. revealing Blanche to be deceptive, fearing that the truth will shatter her cracked Southern Belle masquerade. In addition to this, Blanche's clothing is also a necessity for her to to further blend line between reality and illusion, in fact, when we are first introduced to Blanche she is said to be dressed in "a white suit." The colour white is symbolic, having heavy connotations to purity- something we later find out she is not. This deception about her being pure is made clear in scene 3, where Blanche, coming clean from the bath, or at her most true- no makeup, etc... is wearing a "red satin robe." This is symbolic also for her insatiable lust, and satin itself is just an artificial silk, artificial much like Blanche's character. These harmful actions foreshadow scene 10, where Blanche, after being dumped by her beau, attempts to once again mask the truth after being exposed for what she unfortunately is; a liar. She is said to be wearing, "scuffed silver slippers." The use of sibliance highlights just how negative the situation is, as well as the imagery of silver slippers likening Blanche to a grotesque princess. This foreshadows from the very start that Blanche's coping mechanisms, her white suit, her denial about her dependency on booze will all spite her in the end, which it does, as in one of the last scenes we see her in she has been reduced to a pitiful drunkard dressed up, her coping mechanisms now ineffective and her damaged as a result.

Blanche's flaw has left her yearning for any form of stability after losing everything, her teaching job, her family and opulent home, Belle Reve. She sees this stability in the form of Mitch's character, who she hopes that by enticing, he will perhaps be his anchor to reality. Blanche portrays the character of a virtuous Southern Belle for Mitch, hoping her nonexistent innocence will seduce him further. However, there very first interaction involves Blanche lying to him- "I call her little in spite of the fact she's somewhat older than I" regarding her sister, when in fact Blanche is the older sister. For some, this builds pathos, showing the commonly played theme of an ageing woman who's beauty has long since peaked, and now can't accept the fact that she has passed her prime, building pity for the cruelty of reality. In addition to this, the fact the relationship is founded upon lies, and will ultimately fail because of it. Further, it is also shown in scene 6 that the two just are not compatible when they return from a date. Blanche is said to, "walts to the music with romantic gestures," while Mitch is portrayed as a "dancing bear." This shows how the different the two are, Blanche, once a revered socialite, was exposed to a completely different walk of life than Mitch, where dancing and common courtesies like such were a necessity in winning a woman like Blanche's favour, something Mitch can not do, has no knowledge of as a presumably working class American with no experience in the "finer things" life has to offer. Notably, they do share commonality in the fact they are both pained characters, Mitch seeking stability in Blanche as the key woman in his life is soon to pass, his mother, and Blanche in Mitch after the hardships she has endured. The conclusion of their relationship is reached in scene 9, where Mitch entirely rebukes the character Blanche has portrayed to him, now knowing the truth of her sexual past- truth that is brought to light by Stanley, the man working in the shadows to bring about Blanche's downfall. He rebukes her character by tearing down her paper lanterns. The paper lanterns are symbolic, acting as dampeners to the truth the light represents for Blanche. The low light would also allow Blanche to strengthen the lie about her age, for instance. Their final nail in the pair's relationship's coffin is hammered in after the maladjusted Blanche states that she "wants magic." The word choice of magic further highlights their own incompatibility, as Mitch craves reality- something Blanche's flaw will not allow her to accept. It's also shown that in the final scene, Mitch expresses a great deal of guilt surrounding his actions towards Blanche, as well as prior stating that age was not an issue for him, perhaps hinting that if Blanche's flaw wasn't so key to her character, they might've have a chance, a weak one, but one nonetheless.

Ultimately, Blanche's inability to deal with reality provokes her own demise. At her most vulnerable, Blanche states to Stanley that she is "casting her pearls before swine." The word choice of pearls makes clear how deluded she has become, pearls symbolic for her own virtues that just do not exist. She once again refers to Stanley as a an animal, in this case a swine, before this, an ape. This is a direct attack of his social class, a subject he is evidently sensitive about. Provoked by Blanche's deluded and judgemental nature, still not accepting the fact that she is in a lower social class than Stanley, as she is now homeless and broken, he rapes her in order to insert this dominance over her, degrading her, aware she is completely disgusted by him. Through his actions, he consequentially snaps her dimininishing grasp on reality, leaving her a shattered woman. This is also symbolic, Blanche representing the fading south and their fading ideologies, a fashionable veneer over rot and decay, and Stanley representative of the new, cold modern America. Blanche is left broken to such an extent that she once again turns to her saviour Shep Huntleigh, a man that is allegedly a rich Texan oil tycoon that she believes will come and rescue her, it is is unknown wether or not he is real, but it is likely he is perhaps another coping mechanism Blanche turns to when reality begins it's oppressive march towards her. Blanche is also said to be sent to a "cynically run state institude" where her condition will likely further deteriorate. This is ironic, as Blanche is admitting to reality, besting her flaw if only slightly, but is instead shunned and chastised for doing so, while Stella, her sister carries on the theme of flawed self deception by stating that "I couldn't believe her and go on living with Stanley." This shows that Stella is aware of the truth, reality, and now can't accept. This also offers some form of twisted justice to the reader, as Stanley's actions have perhaps spited him, as by trying to ride Blanche's presence from his home, he has caused her essence to permanently live on his wife, showing his victory to be a hollow one.
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Mxxxxl
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#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by 0314Stuart)
A play that deals with a flawed character is, "A streetcar named Desire" by playwright Tennesse Williams. At the outset of the play we meet the neurotic Blanche Dubois, a fading southern Belle hiding a shameful past. Blanche, after finding herself in financial turmoil, has nowhere else to turn to other than her sister and brother-in-law Stella and Stanley Kowalski in their small apartment in New Orleans. As the play develops, the pressure Blanche exerts on their marriage makes for an explosive climax, where the true colours of each character are revealed. Williams effectively uses a variety of literary techniques, such as symbolism, character development, as well as developing key themes, for instance; self-deception and alcoholism to highlight and develop Blanche's flaw, her inability to deal with reality.

The actions Blanche must take to avoid reality, such as her pernicious remedy- alcohol, or her deviant intimacies with strangers have all but taken a damaging toll on her already fading mental health. At the outset of the play, Blanche is shown to in denial about her self-destructive habits. Stanley, the one responsible for her own eventual demise, questions her about the vanishing of his alcohol. Blanche replies; "I hardly touch it." The builds characterisation. revealing Blanche to be deceptive, fearing that the truth will shatter her cracked Southern Belle masquerade. In addition to this, Blanche's clothing is also a necessity for her to to further blend line between reality and illusion, in fact, when we are first introduced to Blanche she is said to be dressed in "a white suit." The colour white is symbolic, having heavy connotations to purity- something we later find out she is not. This deception about her being pure is made clear in scene 3, where Blanche, coming clean from the bath, or at her most true- no makeup, etc... is wearing a "red satin robe." This is symbolic also for her insatiable lust, and satin itself is just an artificial silk, artificial much like Blanche's character. These harmful actions foreshadow scene 10, where Blanche, after being dumped by her beau, attempts to once again mask the truth after being exposed for what she unfortunately is; a liar. She is said to be wearing, "scuffed silver slippers." The use of sibliance highlights just how negative the situation is, as well as the imagery of silver slippers likening Blanche to a grotesque princess. This foreshadows from the very start that Blanche's coping mechanisms, her white suit, her denial about her dependency on booze will all spite her in the end, which it does, as in one of the last scenes we see her in she has been reduced to a pitiful drunkard dressed up, her coping mechanisms now ineffective and her damaged as a result.

Blanche's flaw has left her yearning for any form of stability after losing everything, her teaching job, her family and opulent home, Belle Reve. She sees this stability in the form of Mitch's character, who she hopes that by enticing, he will perhaps be his anchor to reality. Blanche portrays the character of a virtuous Southern Belle for Mitch, hoping her nonexistent innocence will seduce him further. However, there very first interaction involves Blanche lying to him- "I call her little in spite of the fact she's somewhat older than I" regarding her sister, when in fact Blanche is the older sister. For some, this builds pathos, showing the commonly played theme of an ageing woman who's beauty has long since peaked, and now can't accept the fact that she has passed her prime, building pity for the cruelty of reality. In addition to this, the fact the relationship is founded upon lies, and will ultimately fail because of it. Further, it is also shown in scene 6 that the two just are not compatible when they return from a date. Blanche is said to, "walts to the music with romantic gestures," while Mitch is portrayed as a "dancing bear." This shows how the different the two are, Blanche, once a revered socialite, was exposed to a completely different walk of life than Mitch, where dancing and common courtesies like such were a necessity in winning a woman like Blanche's favour, something Mitch can not do, has no knowledge of as a presumably working class American with no experience in the "finer things" life has to offer. Notably, they do share commonality in the fact they are both pained characters, Mitch seeking stability in Blanche as the key woman in his life is soon to pass, his mother, and Blanche in Mitch after the hardships she has endured. The conclusion of their relationship is reached in scene 9, where Mitch entirely rebukes the character Blanche has portrayed to him, now knowing the truth of her sexual past- truth that is brought to light by Stanley, the man working in the shadows to bring about Blanche's downfall. He rebukes her character by tearing down her paper lanterns. The paper lanterns are symbolic, acting as dampeners to the truth the light represents for Blanche. The low light would also allow Blanche to strengthen the lie about her age, for instance. Their final nail in the pair's relationship's coffin is hammered in after the maladjusted Blanche states that she "wants magic." The word choice of magic further highlights their own incompatibility, as Mitch craves reality- something Blanche's flaw will not allow her to accept. It's also shown that in the final scene, Mitch expresses a great deal of guilt surrounding his actions towards Blanche, as well as prior stating that age was not an issue for him, perhaps hinting that if Blanche's flaw wasn't so key to her character, they might've have a chance, a weak one, but one nonetheless.

Ultimately, Blanche's inability to deal with reality provokes her own demise. At her most vulnerable, Blanche states to Stanley that she is "casting her pearls before swine." The word choice of pearls makes clear how deluded she has become, pearls symbolic for her own virtues that just do not exist. She once again refers to Stanley as a an animal, in this case a swine, before this, an ape. This is a direct attack of his social class, a subject he is evidently sensitive about. Provoked by Blanche's deluded and judgemental nature, still not accepting the fact that she is in a lower social class than Stanley, as she is now homeless and broken, he rapes her in order to insert this dominance over her, degrading her, aware she is completely disgusted by him. Through his actions, he consequentially snaps her dimininishing grasp on reality, leaving her a shattered woman. This is also symbolic, Blanche representing the fading south and their fading ideologies, a fashionable veneer over rot and decay, and Stanley representative of the new, cold modern America. Blanche is left broken to such an extent that she once again turns to her saviour Shep Huntleigh, a man that is allegedly a rich Texan oil tycoon that she believes will come and rescue her, it is is unknown wether or not he is real, but it is likely he is perhaps another coping mechanism Blanche turns to when reality begins it's oppressive march towards her. Blanche is also said to be sent to a "cynically run state institude" where her condition will likely further deteriorate. This is ironic, as Blanche is admitting to reality, besting her flaw if only slightly, but is instead shunned and chastised for doing so, while Stella, her sister carries on the theme of flawed self deception by stating that "I couldn't believe her and go on living with Stanley." This shows that Stella is aware of the truth, reality, and now can't accept. This also offers some form of twisted justice to the reader, as Stanley's actions have perhaps spited him, as by trying to ride Blanche's presence from his home, he has caused her essence to permanently live on his wife, showing his victory to be a hollow one.
thank you so much!!
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