Comparison and Analysis of the Influence the Characters of Blanche and Eddie Had on Their Demises in the Two Plays 'a View from the Bridge' and 'a Streetcar Named Desire'

2014 Words Jul 29th, 2013 9 Pages
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
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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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