Sexual tension leads to a highly charged, dramatic demise for Blanche and Eddie
The characters of Blanche and Eddie are closely linked by several factors, including the reasons behind their cantankerous endings in the plays “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “A View from the Bridge”. Williams and Miller characterize Blanche and Eddie through their sexuality, which is a very important theme in both plays.
Both characters show traces of mental instability; Blanche perhaps more-so than Eddie, as throughout the play there are constant reminders to the audience that Blanche’s already feeble mental state is deteriorating. For example, when Blanche recalls the death of her ‘young husband’, Tennessee Williams cleverly has the music of the …show more content…
Ultimately as they are both strong characters, one of the two has to come out a victor of their rivalry. Stanley is strong but Blanche successfully establishes a foothold in his house during the first third of the play and even shames him into acting somewhat ‘sheepishly’ by the end of scene one. However, Blanche’s ascendancy does not last long and eventually we see Stanley regain his primitive masculine supremacy. This then progresses towards the end of the play, to complete lack of respect for Blanche herself, as in scene ten a drunk Stanley rapes her while her sister is in hospital; an unpleasant ‘victory’ over a weakened Blanche is the very peak of tension between the two.
The main tension experienced in “A View from the Bridge” is due to the great contrast between how Eddie sees Catherine, and how she sees him. In Eddie's world, he imagines protecting Catherine from marriage or any male relationship and wants her for himself. While Eddie wavers and switches between communal and state laws and cultures to discriminate against Rodolpho, his motivations do not change, regardless of the fact it is often at the expense of others. Throughout the play, Miller creates uncomfortable situations for the reader/viewer, caused by the emergence of Eddie’s unusual ‘love’ for Catherine. This is shown in particular in act one, when Catherine
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The most ostentatious of the group, Stanley is a flawed man that is forced into the role of husband and father by the women around him. Stanley enjoys avoiding his real life and problems by socializing with his other equally macho friends playing poker and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol which in turn makes him stereotypically violent towards his wife. Stanley’s actions to Blanche as well are possessive and domineering as he looks through her things and criticizes the gifts she has garnered from the various suitors she had. “After Stanley's rummaging around in the trunk, Blanche exclaims: "It looks like my trunk has exploded" (38). When he violates that space - "Stanley crosses to the trunk, shoves it roughly open, and begins to open compartments" (41) - he betrays Blanche's intimacy. Rapaciously investigating the love letters, "He rips off the ribbon and starts to examine them, Blanche snatches them from him, and they cascade to the floor." Furious, she shouts: "Now that you've touched them, I'll burn them" and then starts scooping "the floor, gathering
Blanche’s financial decline, illuminating her vulnerability, links to Aristotle’s theory that the tragic heroine must fall, allowing the audience to relate to her. Her insecurities – “I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare!” stereotypically reflects the insecurities women feel about their appearance and age. The uses of imperatives and exclamatory sentences suggests Blanche’s obsession over her appearance, a flaw leading her to dismiss her true identity. Her inability to avoid drink and her compulsive lies, demonstrated in her frequent references to Shep Huntleigh’s letters, makes her a more authentic woman than Stella, who is described by Williams as the “gentle, mild and contented one”. Blanche’s loss of identity, dominated by her homosexual husband’s suicide, exacerbates her solitude – “The boy-the boy died. (She sinks back down) I’m afraid I’m – going to be sick!” The fragmented, repetitive speech Blanche uses illustrates her guilt and pain, whilst the physical act of “sinking” highlights the extent of her regret, giving a sense of foreboding for her downfall. Her guilt is also exacerbated by the implied physical act at the end which shocks the contemporary audience, who would not sympathise with homosexuals, evoking pity and reinforcing that “Streetcar” is a tragedy for Blanche.
The reader may view Blanche as someone who tried to escape her sordid past in Laurel and wanted to start a new life with her sister, yet due to the continuous investigations from Stanley, was unable to do so. Stanley reveals Blanches’ lies and deceits, commenting on them as her ‘same old act, same old hooey!’ This tells the reader that his research of Blanches’ past is way of stopping her from finding a new life. Blanche attempts to redeem her life by finding love with Mitch, yet Stanley again reveals to Mitch that she was not ‘straight’, resulting in Mitch not wanting to be with her and also contributing to her fate. Stanley, after mercilessly divulging all her truths and bringing her to the edge of her mental capacity, rapes Blanche which brought about her final collapse. The reader may view Stella as someone at blame for her sisters’ fate, as though she shows some moral support of Blanches’ situation and listens to what she has to say, Stella continuously throughout the play neglects to notice Blanches slow mental deterioration and ignores Blanches’ outcries and incessant need for attention. Stella chooses Stanley over Blanche, despite her warnings about him being ‘volatile, violent and sub-human which represents not
Similar to Stanley, Blanche also faces a power struggle. Her ultimate downfall is a result of Stanley’s cruelty and lack of understanding for human fragility. Comments about Stanley’s ‘animal habits’ and ‘sub-human’ nature act as the agent of Blanche’s downfall. Stanley cannot deal with her mocking him in his own home and is fed up with her lies. During the final scenes his
Comparing the play versus, the movie versions of A Streetcar Named Desire has been entertaining and enlightening. Originally written as a play, Tennessee Williams later adapted it into a screenplay for the film version. Consequently, both versions were extremely popular in their own right. Drama and social taboos create an emotionally charged viewing adventure. Williams characters are complex, exciting and just crazy enough to keep the audience spellbound. The DuBois sisters are complete opposites sharing only their love for each other as common ground. Blanche, the older sister, shows up for an impromptu visit with her sister Stella Kowalski. Stella and her husband Stanley live in New Orleans, in the French Quarter. Blanche has become destitute and has lost the family plantation. Stanley, incensed by the idea that Blanche has taken the plantation from him, sets out to destroy her by any and all means. The characters and performers provide a riveting and consequently soulful performance that is hauntingly unforgettable. Williams writing moves the audience to tears with dynamic characters, conflict and catastrophe of unimaginable depth.
The audience always had the feeling that Blanche was a little nuts, but we see her condition worsening as the play goes on. During the final scene we see Blanche go with a doctor and nurse to, presumably, a mental hospitable. Eunice
Based on Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Elia Kazan creates an award winning movie that helps readers visualize Stanley’s primal masculinity, the inner torments of the Kowalski women and the clash of the other characters’ problems which create a chaotic mess. Using stage directions in the play, William hints that Blanche is not who she appears to be while the movie subtly sheds light on Blanche’s strange little habits that suggests a bigger issue. The movie also censors many of the main themes in Williams’ play but makes up for it by having its actors flawlessly portray the characters’ emotions, allowing the readers to see the
Blanche’s death speech plays a vital role in the development of the play “A Streetcar named Desire”. In the monologue the tension between Blanche and Stella comes to a zenith as Blanch explodes with rage as she expresses her jealousy-driven feelings to Stella. In doing so Blanche reveals much more, including her unstable mental state, her emotional reaction to the lost of Belle Reve, and most importantly her preoccupation with the theme of death.
Throughout Tennessee William’s play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Blanche Dubois exemplified several tragic flaws. She suffered from her haunting past; her inability to overcome; her desire to be someone else; and from the cruel, animalistic treatment she received from Stanley. Sadly, her sister Stella also played a role in her downfall. All of these factors ultimately led to Blanche’s tragic breakdown in the end.
He likes to possess and control everything around him, he almost ‘owns’ Stella, and he has changed from her days at Belle Reve, pulling her “down off them columns and how [she] loved it”. But the arrival of Blanche, and her aristocratic ways annoys Stanley, as Stella begins to revert to her old ways. Blanche encourages her to stand up to him, and continually stresses the difference in their levels, although Stanley is not ashamed that he “was common as dirt”. Therefore, the only way that he can overcome Blanche and restore his authority is to beat her and triumph over her physically, which he eventually does. Although ironically, it is the effect of Stanley and his actions on her mind that finally provokes her downfall.
Stanley overhears these comments as they are ‘unaware of his presence’ (S4:pg.164*; and wants to dispose of Blanche to protect his marriage as Blanche has a hysterical determination to urge Stella to leave Stanley. Stanley refuses to accept Blanches’ conduct as she had no right to intervene and arbitrate as a guest in Stanley’s home supporting the idea that Stanley was preparing her downfall all along.
Finally, Stanley rapes Blanche because “he has tried and tried to keep her down to his level” (Kagan 26) but she cannot go there. The rape is his way of getting her there. In the powerful scene where Stanley loses total control of his actions and strikes the person whom he has sworn to protect, love and cherish, William's shows Stanley's lack of control and hatred of the new threat in his life, Blanche. What makes this scene so important to the topic is the way that the three characters react once the party has broken up. Blanche is in her usual state of panic; Stella has retreated upstairs, while Stanley stumbles around calling out 'Steeelllaaa' in a drunken sweaty animal-like manner. Surprisingly Stella answers her mate's calls and embraces him, the two of them exchanging words of compassion and kisses. Stanley then picks up Stella and carries her off to his den to make love, which is Stanley's way of apologizing. Stanley has to be the dominant male figure in all his relationships, not only with Stella and Blanche, but with his friends as well. He is a leader and instantly rises to the challenge whenever his status is threatened.
Stanley is a character in this play, whose perspective is clearly reality based. Since Blanche’s outlook on life is fantasy based, there is a lot of hostility between the two characters. Stanley is the one that always exposes the lies that Blanche is always hiding behind. He is constantly trying to get her to accept his perspective. When she finally begins to understand him, it’s too late. With such a huge change, she loses her mental state. Her personal beliefs get interchanged between fantasy and reality, to such an extent, that it seems as if she no longer realizes what is true or what is malign.
In Tennessee William’s masterful play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the reader meets a middle – aged woman by the name of Blanche DuBois. Blanche lives in her own faerie tale world, one of a young, beautiful debutante, surrounded by admirers, and loved by all whom she encounters. In reality, Blanche is an aging woman who cannot cope with the actualities of life. She makes up wild stories, and when Stanley Kowalski, her brother – in – law, rapes her, the realities of life cause her to drift into absolute lunacy.
Blanche’s unexpected arrival at the entrance of the play is what stirs an even bigger monster in Stanley. Upon her entrance, she immediately causes trouble due to her and Stanley’s differences. Blanche is a southern belle from a very wealthy background. She is very proud of being brought up in the upper class while Stanley is proud that he lead his own life through the working class. This makes him a very rude and animalistic man with a lower level of education. Even their first conversation