How Is Light Used In A Streetcar Named Desire

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In A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the writer vividly uses the symbolism of light to develop the major characters. Light, particularly, plays an important role in symbolizing and reflecting the characters of Blanche and Stanley. Analyzing the text using the psychoanalytic theory as mentioned in Peter Barry’s Beginning Theory, the characters become more realized to the reader. Light is an indicator of insight and understanding, while its opposite, darkness, symbolizes rational dullness and obliviousness. The characters of Blanche and Stanley in this book are always contrasting, particularly in their perception of light, underlining the disparity between their cognizance. Blanche is constantly making all efforts to evade bright…show more content…
Color is basically a way of representing emotions and moods, and people’s moral and/or personal qualities. Again, it is Blanche and Stanley who are the main subjects of the symbolism created through color. Firstly, the meaning of Blanche’s name is symbolic of her nature. Blanche in French means ‘white’, which is a sign of purity and virtuousness. In the opening scenes of the book, Blanche is dressed in “…a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and ear-rings of pearl, white gloves and a hat…” (Williams 117). This symbolism of color is ironic to the fact that Blanche is immoral in character; living a live full of lies, is promiscuous and is linked to someone who murders her lover. The irony brought out by color is further underlined when Blanche says, Well, life is too full of evasions and ambiguities, I think. I like an artist who paints in strong, bold colors, primary colors. I don’t like pinks and creams and I never cared for wishy-washy people (Williams 137). She creates an implication that she does not like dishonest people, yet she is outrightly dishonest

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