Streetcar Named Desire Research Paper

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Vintage may be the hipster trend nowadays, but brand new is always better. In today’s society the next best thing has always trumped leftovers of last season. This conflict between old and new can be shown in “Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams. He writes about an aging “Southern Belle” with traditional viewpoints who conflicts with her sister’s husband who represents more modern ideals. According to Williams the play is about “the ravishment of the tender, the sensitive, and the delicate, by the savage and brutal forces of modern society”. By integrating different cultures of America he uses his characters to represent different viewpoints of the world. Williams’ influence for the play sprung from the time he grew up in the South…show more content…
As the old South slowly dies away, Blanche is also fading away physically and mentally which drives her to “[fight],… [bleed, and]…almost die” (26) to sustain it as long as she can. Blanche is clinging on to her sheltered and stereotypical lifestyle that she will shed blood for it showing how her world is already crumbling. Her hyperbolic speech which exaggerates her delusions helps her cover up the reality she’s living in. The death of the old world can be seen when Blanche arrives at Elysian Fields resembling a ghost in her “white dress” and fear of light (15). This phantom like appearance represents the fading greatness of Belle Reve, her hometown in the South. The deceased South contrasts with the bright and lively New Orleans representing the new world’s strength and victory. The more time she spends in Elysian Fields Blanche herself is “fading” (79). Although she was a strong character in the past with her looks and her ability to seduce men, she is weaker and older in the present which makes Stanley the stronger character. Industrial America rises to the top as the old South fades away into yesterday. Blanche’s sister Stella grew up in Belle Reve as well, but chose to leave it behind to move to New…show more content…
Their first conflict began when Stanley accuses Blanche of theft and protects himself with the “Napoleonic code” (34). This code originates from French government which shows the diversity of New Orleans. This mix of culture clashes with Blanche’s southern upbringing where racial discrimination was a key social element. Stanley’s very essence is practical and realistic; the reader knows nothing of his past only his present and he works as an auto sales man, so it makes sense that he lacks tolerance for Blanche’s “poetry” (109). His speech is more realistic and rather callous which contrasts with Blanche’s lyricism. The difference in their language reflects how they both come from two different worlds. Despite how common Stanley’s upbringing, Stella constantly defends him because she thinks he’s “the only one…that’s likely to get anywhere” out of all her friends (50). Stanley shows that a hardworking man can succeed in life even if he originated from an immigrant family. The reason why he has more potential than anyone is solely because he represents the American Dream and the modernization of society which contrasts greatly with the old South

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