Characters and Staging of A Streetcar Named Desire Essays

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In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, the characters are extremely well defined. In fact, they are so well defined obtuse critics have characterized them as two-dimensional, but Williams drew them that way intentionally so as to underscore the flaws that make their characters so memorable. Blanche is an aging single Southern woman whose best days are in the past. Blanche has not been able to make the adjustment from when she was the belle of the county at Belle Reeve, her family's southern home, to the harsh realities of her present situation, one in which she has always "depended on the kindness of strangers" (142). All of her attempts at living in reality involve her trying to keep up appearances to match…show more content…
Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something-sub-human-something not quite to the stage of humanity yet!...Maybe we are a long way from being made in God's image, but Stella-my sister-there has been some progress since then! Such things as art-as poetry and music-such kinds of new light have come into the world since then...Don't hang back with the brutes!" (72). All the characters are in conflict at one point or another in the course of action. Some of the minor characters, like the couple upstairs, reflect a mirror situation of Stanley and Stella. The play is not easy to understand on the psychological level for it is complex. Blanche is a middle-aged former beauty who cannot tolerate the miserable condition of her present. Everything she does, from hanging a paper lantern over a naked light bulb to pretending she is younger than Stella is an effort to dim the harsh facts of her reality. Stella knows Stanley is abusive and not in control of his passions, but she cannot face the world alone and tolerates whatever she must to have him as a source of identity and stability in the harsh world. Mitch is full of illusions about women and cannot bare the truth about Blanche, but he does have more empathy than Stanley. Stanley is cold, insensitive and lives only for himself. He could care less what others think, and, if anyone challenges what he does or how he feels he is ready
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