Comparison of Streetcar Named Desire the Play and the Movie

1850 Words Apr 2nd, 2012 8 Pages
Janet Ng
Professor Faunce
WRT 102
7 March 2012 Textual Analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire

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
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By showing his readers the downfall of depending on men, Tennessee Williams is sending out a clear message to women to stand up for themselves and to be independent. In contrast, the movie supports independence by having Stella stand up for her newborn baby and herself by leaving Stanley. Why the stark difference you ask? Back in the 1950s, the rape scene was considered controversial and taboo so the director Elia Kazan was forced to punish Stanley by having his wife leave him at the end of the film. Even the slight suggestion of a rape scene necessitated Stanley’s punishment. Realistically, Stella would’ve stayed with Stanley because she had no support for herself or the baby. Blanche’s and Stella’s reliance on men and inability to support themselves are used to illustrate the subliminal pressure for women to follow society’s norms. Women without men are seen as weak, and those who break away from their rigid social classes are looked down upon. Since these social norms have been instilled into Blanche, she believes that she has to have a man fawn over her feet at all times. She realizes that she is aging and thus by engaging in sexual trysts with men, she thinks that she is still wanted and that she still has a place in society despite her current status. “After the death of Allan - intimacies with strangers was
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