Streetcar Named Desire

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Williams uses language and stagecraft to create a stark contrast between Stanley and Blanche, as well as to highlight the multitude of differences between the Old South and the New South, represented by Blanche and Stanley respectively. One contrast between the characters is their social status. Stanley is “roughly dressed in blue denim working clothes”, so it is likely that he works in manual labour, and is therefore of a lower class. This represents the New South, which at the time of the play (1947) was beginning to flourish due to immigrant workers, such as Stanley. Stanley has a package of “meat” that he “heaves” at Stella, meaning he relies on his primitive physical strength and prowess rather than intellect. Blanche however is “daintily dressed in a white suit...looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party”. Blanche’s posh and expensive costume illustrates her high status, as she would certainly not perform any physical or strenuous labour when wearing a suit. Blanche’s name and “white” attire have connotations of purity and innocence, but her tumultuous past and…show more content…
Blanche was brought to New Orleans, where she is “ashamed to be”, by the eponymous streetcar named “Desire”. The streetcar symbolises Blanche’s desire, and the consequences of said desire that lead to her coming to New Orleans. Blanche here lacks autonomy; she’s a passive rider on the streetcar, so it is only natural that she would succumb to her desire. Blanche’s main desires are centered around men, and subsequently a need for protection. “Pleasure with women” is the “centre” of Stanley’s life. All other desires are lesser compared to this central desire. Stanley “sizes women up at a glance”, thus objectifying and sexualising women in what could be considered as a sexist manner. Stanley desires to be superior in every sense; he desires for complete control whilst Blanche is dependent on others to lead

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