A Streetcar Named Desire

2993 Words12 Pages
Yaiza Mujica Compare and contrast the significance of madness in Wide Sargasso Sea and A Streetcar Named Desire Jean Rhy's postcolonial novel 'Wide Sargasso Sea' and Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' share many similar themes, motifs and symbols, used to illustrate the lives of many complex, three dimensional characters and their journeys throughout. Madness is a prominent theme presented in both texts, where its significance in the plot is essential as most characters are overcome by how the imminent feeling of doom that this state of mind brings reflects on their…show more content…
Similarly, in Wide Sargasso Sea characters such as Antoinette and her mother Annette are othered for being creole. However their situation is far worse as there was an upcoming uprising because the novella is set in 1833, after the emancipation act. "We were not in their ranks" suggests both Annette and Antoinette feel misplaced in society because of their mixed racial descent and hints towards them being endangered as a result of their past. The use of the personal pronoun 'they' shows the division between them and the creoles in that society ..."They notice clothes, they know about money" which shows the reader just how lonely and isolated Annette and Antoinette must be. Mr.Lutrell is presented as the major display of madness, whom, after having shot his dog, ‘curses’ Nelson’s Rest… “it was haunted, they wouldn’t go near it and no one would go near us” emphasising once again, the isolation of them within a setting and within a society because of certain events and their social status. Here, the use of the pronoun us creates a clear separation between Antoinette’s family and the people who ‘other’…show more content…
Perceptions of madness are mainly displayed in A Streetcar Named Desire through the contrast between characters. In females, especially, it is carried out through lunacy and hysteria-including imagery and certain connotations that are carried out throughout. Blanche from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' represents someone overcome by hysteria... 'Stage direction – ( a mood of hysterical exhilaration came into her and she has decked herself out in a somewhat soiled evening gown and a pair of scuffed silver slippers)'. Displaying a mood of "hysterical exhilaration" is particularly unusual, taking into consideration that whilst she is behaving in such a way, on a typical day in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Blanche is in fact showing audience members that this behaviour, and thus her state of mind - is abnormal - reinforcing the idea that she is spiralling out of control mentally. Stella, on the other hand, shows aspects of having a certain dependency on Stanley to avoid the loss of sanity. She relies on the help of a patriarchal male to escape

More about A Streetcar Named Desire

Open Document