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University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
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Essay for AQA ALEVEL english lit

Heyy, I've recently done a comparison essay for handmaids and streetcar named desire, could someone have alook through it and give me a rough mark because I've never done a handmaids and streetcar question before. I would give it to my teacher but she takes so long to mark it.
Thankyouu xo

Compare the significance of inequality in two other texts you have studied. Remember to include in your answer reference to how meanings are shaped in the texts you are comparing. You must use one drama text and one prose text in your response.

Within Streetcar, Tennessee shows gender inequality through the uneven power dynamic relationship between Stanely and Stella, whose marriage reflects the gender inequality during the 1940's, particularly Stanely, who's character represents the post- war masculine ideal who was favoured above their less significant other. During the rising action within Scene 3, Stanely hits Stella due to his emasculation when she used derogatory language to condemn his actions 'animal thing - you', to which despite her being pregnant, Stanely overrules the power dynamic and hits her to assert his dominance. The conflict between the men and women is highlighted through the quote ' poker should not be played in a house with women', which shows the theme of inequality as this victimizes men, as if it were the women's fault that Stanely became angry, reinforcing women as the second gender in comparison to their male counterparts. Tennessee’s own experience of inequality relates to the scene, as his own father was an alcoholic who undermined his mother consistently, which is why he utilises the expressionist style as an abstract impression of reality creates tension and dramatizes reality for it to be reflective of real-life gender inequalities such as domestic abuse. Pre - 2 wave of feminist movement women were not seen as separate to their husbands, which only became legal during the 80s, and this is shows the inequality within their relationship as Stanely believes that because ‘everyman is a king’ this gives him ownership of his wife, and allows her to abuse her because of the patriarchal ideologies during this era which insured women were submissive towards their husbands, displaying the significant of inequality which allowed Stanely to commit this act against stella.

Similarly to Tennessee's play, Atwood utilizes the same themes of gender inequality through the segregation of the handmaids, particularly through the motifs of clothing and this dehumanizes the handmaids to mere reproductive organs. The red dress which is the ‘colour of blood, which defines us’ connotates menstruation, which shows how the handmaids are reduced to their reproductive abilities. It also represents desire and lust, which creates irony as while the Handmaid’s are subjected to abuse and inequality do be representing sexual desire, they are ‘God national resource’, and within Gilead, reflective of 80s America, are used to combat the decline birthrates and are vital for the society, yet are only ‘two-legged wombs’ the adjective used to strip the handmaids of the identities to belittle them further. Offred name means ‘of Fred’ which demonstrates patriarchal ownership of women, and despite 2nd wave of feminist movement during this era, Atwood uses speculative dystopian fiction to demonstrate the extent of gender inequality that could happen in the real world, particularly following the Regan presidency, which political party the Moral Majority focused on traditional Christian values in order to suppress feminism links to how easily inequality can be embedded within society.

Tennessee also displays the significance of inequalities through social divisions, highlighted in the interactions of Blanche and Stanely. Through plastic theatre, Tennessee utilizes the costumes of Blanche to not only emphasize her vulnerability within the industrial New Orleans but uses it to display her fading southern belle aristocracy, her attire ‘incongruous’ to her setting, conveying her high status, as well as white connotating to feminine purity and innocence. Similarly, in Stanely's characterization of a 2nd gen Polish immigration, his ‘blue Demin work clothes’ is representative of the working class, the bold primal colours emphasize his masculinity and power. Within the movie, Stanely’s presence is overtly sexualized, more than what was accept during the 1940’s censorship and was reflective of the changing masculine ideals due to the working class gaining an upper hand over aristocracy, Immigration and industrialization becoming the economic ground the old south once was through plantation, which is declining due to the abolishing of slavery. Through this, Tennessee can distinguish a social division through appearance, which paves the way for the clash of the two, particularly Blanches opinions towards both Stanley as New Orleans, which was home to the ‘intermingling of races. Within the exposition, the stagecraft conveys Blanche's feelings towards her sister's home her ‘shoulders slightly hunched,’ showing her discomfort in being in a place so different to Belle Reve, a ‘beautiful dream’. She says ‘what are you doing in a place like this’ The almost rhetorical question shows her distaste and her classist approach to their apartment, showing the social inequalities as it shows that Blanche views herself in a higher status. Further, inequalities are displayed through Blanche's racial commentary on Stanely, using derogatory terminology to call him a ‘Pollack’ and zoomorphism through ‘ape ‘like’ to subject him to her classist ideologies and dehumanizes him due to his working-class status.

A Marxist perspective would argue that Atwood also uses the hierarchy in Gilead to show the class inequalities, particularly through the hypocrisy of the commanders. Within the totalitarian government, Offred's commander displays the significance of inequality through his use of his power to manipulate Offred and use her for his desire, despite him being the creator of the Gilead rules, showing the fault within the Gilead regimes. Jezebels, named after a ‘deceptive’ woman within the bible, is symbolic of the alternative handmaids who are used for sexual pleasure conveys the inequalities of how women are punished for the rebellion, however, creates irony as the commander himself is attending the brothel, going against the Gileadean rules. Further, the scene shows inequality through paradox, as Offred believes the commander is giving her freedom, when he is, in fact, using his hubris to favour himself, showing the hierarchal inequalities as due to their power and status, they are allowed to go against the rules and go ‘unnoticed’, in contrast to the handmaids, who are subjected to the derogatory labeling of ‘Unwoman’ and punishment.
Reply 1
Original post by badbxo
Heyy, I've recently done a comparison essay for handmaids and streetcar named desire, could someone have alook through it and give me a rough mark because I've never done a handmaids and streetcar question before. I would give it to my teacher but she takes so long to mark it.
Thankyouu xo
Compare the significance of inequality in two other texts you have studied. Remember to include in your answer reference to how meanings are shaped in the texts you are comparing. You must use one drama text and one prose text in your response.
Within Streetcar, Tennessee shows gender inequality through the uneven power dynamic relationship between Stanely and Stella, whose marriage reflects the gender inequality during the 1940's, particularly Stanely, who's character represents the post- war masculine ideal who was favoured above their less significant other. During the rising action within Scene 3, Stanely hits Stella due to his emasculation when she used derogatory language to condemn his actions 'animal thing - you', to which despite her being pregnant, Stanely overrules the power dynamic and hits her to assert his dominance. The conflict between the men and women is highlighted through the quote ' poker should not be played in a house with women', which shows the theme of inequality as this victimizes men, as if it were the women's fault that Stanely became angry, reinforcing women as the second gender in comparison to their male counterparts. Tennessee’s own experience of inequality relates to the scene, as his own father was an alcoholic who undermined his mother consistently, which is why he utilises the expressionist style as an abstract impression of reality creates tension and dramatizes reality for it to be reflective of real-life gender inequalities such as domestic abuse. Pre - 2 wave of feminist movement women were not seen as separate to their husbands, which only became legal during the 80s, and this is shows the inequality within their relationship as Stanely believes that because ‘everyman is a king’ this gives him ownership of his wife, and allows her to abuse her because of the patriarchal ideologies during this era which insured women were submissive towards their husbands, displaying the significant of inequality which allowed Stanely to commit this act against stella.
Similarly to Tennessee's play, Atwood utilizes the same themes of gender inequality through the segregation of the handmaids, particularly through the motifs of clothing and this dehumanizes the handmaids to mere reproductive organs. The red dress which is the ‘colour of blood, which defines us’ connotates menstruation, which shows how the handmaids are reduced to their reproductive abilities. It also represents desire and lust, which creates irony as while the Handmaid’s are subjected to abuse and inequality do be representing sexual desire, they are ‘God national resource’, and within Gilead, reflective of 80s America, are used to combat the decline birthrates and are vital for the society, yet are only ‘two-legged wombs’ the adjective used to strip the handmaids of the identities to belittle them further. Offred name means ‘of Fred’ which demonstrates patriarchal ownership of women, and despite 2nd wave of feminist movement during this era, Atwood uses speculative dystopian fiction to demonstrate the extent of gender inequality that could happen in the real world, particularly following the Regan presidency, which political party the Moral Majority focused on traditional Christian values in order to suppress feminism links to how easily inequality can be embedded within society.
Tennessee also displays the significance of inequalities through social divisions, highlighted in the interactions of Blanche and Stanely. Through plastic theatre, Tennessee utilizes the costumes of Blanche to not only emphasize her vulnerability within the industrial New Orleans but uses it to display her fading southern belle aristocracy, her attire ‘incongruous’ to her setting, conveying her high status, as well as white connotating to feminine purity and innocence. Similarly, in Stanely's characterization of a 2nd gen Polish immigration, his ‘blue Demin work clothes’ is representative of the working class, the bold primal colours emphasize his masculinity and power. Within the movie, Stanely’s presence is overtly sexualized, more than what was accept during the 1940’s censorship and was reflective of the changing masculine ideals due to the working class gaining an upper hand over aristocracy, Immigration and industrialization becoming the economic ground the old south once was through plantation, which is declining due to the abolishing of slavery. Through this, Tennessee can distinguish a social division through appearance, which paves the way for the clash of the two, particularly Blanches opinions towards both Stanley as New Orleans, which was home to the ‘intermingling of races. Within the exposition, the stagecraft conveys Blanche's feelings towards her sister's home her ‘shoulders slightly hunched,’ showing her discomfort in being in a place so different to Belle Reve, a ‘beautiful dream’. She says ‘what are you doing in a place like this’ The almost rhetorical question shows her distaste and her classist approach to their apartment, showing the social inequalities as it shows that Blanche views herself in a higher status. Further, inequalities are displayed through Blanche's racial commentary on Stanely, using derogatory terminology to call him a ‘Pollack’ and zoomorphism through ‘ape ‘like’ to subject him to her classist ideologies and dehumanizes him due to his working-class status.
A Marxist perspective would argue that Atwood also uses the hierarchy in Gilead to show the class inequalities, particularly through the hypocrisy of the commanders. Within the totalitarian government, Offred's commander displays the significance of inequality through his use of his power to manipulate Offred and use her for his desire, despite him being the creator of the Gilead rules, showing the fault within the Gilead regimes. Jezebels, named after a ‘deceptive’ woman within the bible, is symbolic of the alternative handmaids who are used for sexual pleasure conveys the inequalities of how women are punished for the rebellion, however, creates irony as the commander himself is attending the brothel, going against the Gileadean rules. Further, the scene shows inequality through paradox, as Offred believes the commander is giving her freedom, when he is, in fact, using his hubris to favour himself, showing the hierarchal inequalities as due to their power and status, they are allowed to go against the rules and go ‘unnoticed’, in contrast to the handmaids, who are subjected to the derogatory labeling of ‘Unwoman’ and punishment.

In your first paragraph your analysis is great but ensure to directly link these back to the question's focus on the significance of inequality and how it shapes meanings within the text. Also, consider discussing how these portrayals of inequality might reflect or critique societal norms of the time.

In your second paragraph to strengthen your comparison, discuss how Atwood's portrayal of inequality in a dystopian future contrasts with Williams' depiction of inequality in a more realistic setting. This contrast can further illuminate the significance of inequality in shaping the meanings of both texts.

For the third, consider how these social inequalities intersect with the gender inequalities previously discussed. Additionally, comparing these social inequalities with those in 'The Handmaid's Tale' could provide a deeper understanding of how both texts critique societal structures.

And for your last paragraph consider how these class inequalities compare to the social divisions in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'. Discussing the similarities and differences in how both texts portray power dynamics could offer a more nuanced comparison.

Oh and also focus on integrating your comparisons throughout the essay, rather than isolating them to individual paragraphs. This will provide a more cohesive and comprehensive exploration of how inequality is significant in shaping meanings across both texts.

Overall, your essay is really good !! keep up the good workk :smile:
(edited 1 month ago)
University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
Birmingham
Reply 2
Original post by ImaoKat
In your first paragraph your analysis is great but ensure to directly link these back to the question's focus on the significance of inequality and how it shapes meanings within the text. Also, consider discussing how these portrayals of inequality might reflect or critique societal norms of the time.
In your second paragraph to strengthen your comparison, discuss how Atwood's portrayal of inequality in a dystopian future contrasts with Williams' depiction of inequality in a more realistic setting. This contrast can further illuminate the significance of inequality in shaping the meanings of both texts.
For the third, consider how these social inequalities intersect with the gender inequalities previously discussed. Additionally, comparing these social inequalities with those in 'The Handmaid's Tale' could provide a deeper understanding of how both texts critique societal structures.
And for your last paragraph consider how these class inequalities compare to the social divisions in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'. Discussing the similarities and differences in how both texts portray power dynamics could offer a more nuanced comparison.
Oh and also focus on integrating your comparisons throughout the essay, rather than isolating them to individual paragraphs. This will provide a more cohesive and comprehensive exploration of how inequality is significant in shaping meanings across both texts.
Overall, your essay is really good !! keep up the good workk :smile:

omg thankyou so much,, your feedback is really helpful,, i think settings are my weakness!! :smile:) x
Reply 3
Original post by badbxo
omg thankyou so much,, your feedback is really helpful,, i think settings are my weakness!! :smile:) x

your welcome !!
Reply 4
Original post by badbxo
omg thankyou so much,, your feedback is really helpful,, i think settings are my weakness!! :smile:) x

Amazing attitude to strive for improvements. Putting yourself out there and accepting the feedback! You'll go far! I started University not having much of a clue about essay writing, and really took on the feedback and improvement suggestions. I came out with a first class bachelors and a distinction in my masters!
Reply 5
Original post by jmachin6
Amazing attitude to strive for improvements. Putting yourself out there and accepting the feedback! You'll go far! I started University not having much of a clue about essay writing, and really took on the feedback and improvement suggestions. I came out with a first class bachelors and a distinction in my masters!

Thankyouu,, wow thats amazing :smile:)

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