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A Streetcar Named Desire: Contextualising Essay

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A Streetcar Named Desire: Contextualising

Tennessee Williams uses ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ to relate to his own personal life, echoes of his own life are present in the plot and sub-plot of the play. The play is set during the era in which it was written therefore it must have been easy for Williams to relate characters to real life people. Also because this play is meant to be as real to life as possible within the confines of the story means that everyone who goes to watch the play will be able to relate to the characters depicted in some way or other. This would attract the audience because they would have something in common and would be interested to see how they would react and be able to comprehend their actions and
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This parallels to Blanche and Stella,
Stella moves away to get on with her life and Blanche stays at home, she also becomes mentally unstable but this does not become apparent until the end of the play, and like Rose is committed to a mental hospital. I believe that the despair that Stella suffers is the same that Williams must have suffered when he learnt about his sister’s mental state and that she had been committed.

In ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ the character Stanley has characteristics similar to those of Williams’s father. He had disapproved of Williams’ sexuality and femininity and was openly ashamed. Williams resented his father for this for the rest of his life. This is why Williams portrays Stanley as the stereotypical ‘mans man’, a macho dominating figure. Williams’ resentment for his father is apparent in the play in two forms, the first is the relationship between Blanche and her ex-husband who she finds in bed with another man, this is Williams’ way of getting back at his father by putting such a controversial idea in the play, an idea that his father could not find acceptable. The second is the way that Stanley has the same ideals as Williams’s father and to live as the
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