A Streetcar Named Desire, Literary Analysis Essay

733 WordsOct 30, 20123 Pages
“A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams “Stella has embraced him with both arms, fiercely, and full in the view of Blanche. He laughs and clasps her head to him. Over her head he grins through the curtains at Blanche.” (Williams 73) A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennessee Williams exemplifies the theme of a struggle to attain happiness. The play not only portrays this theme in its characters and setting, but through the literary devices of Foil, Imagery, and Intertextuality. Williams took great care in applying each of these literary device techniques to the theme as he presents an intriguing contrast between Blanche and Stanley, vivid images both animalistic and broken, and imploring the use of the Odyssey to further…show more content…
The low moans of the clarinet and the blue piano all portray the image of what an animal would do. (Williams 129) Another form of imagery in the play is broken images. There is the broken mirror and Mitch tearing the lamp. There is also Blanche’s husband Hickey killing himself. There is also the loss of the baby which is a broken part of the story. Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. Williams uses this literary device by referring to Book Nine of the Odyssey. Blanche is equal to deception. She is always flirting with some man especially Stanley. Anytime she gets the chance while Stella is out of the room. Blanche is like Odysseus because she is very well aware of her deceptive truths. She uses them to manipulate in situations. She blinds Stanley by her deceptive ways. Intertextuality is also used in the image of Cyclopes. Stanley portrays the image of Cyclopes. He is also referred to as “One-eye monster,” in the play. He is referred to this character because of his strong will and physically strong, but he falls easily into Blanche’s trap of being blinded. Although there are many other literary devices that are used throughout A Streetcar Named Desire these devices work together in unison to thoroughly express the theme in their struggle to attain happiness. Though they try very hard the happiness is never really gained. These literary devices are used to create an
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