Discuss how class conflict is represented in A Streetcar Named Desire. (A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams)

Decent Essays
Class conflict is represented throughout the play, A Streetcar Named Desire in various ways through characters, symbols, ideas and language. Characters such as Blanche, Stella, Mitch and Stanley are used throughout the text to represent the upper and lower classes, as well as the conflict between the two classes. Symbols, ideas and language help to define the different classes as well as helping to represent the conflict between classes. The language (dialogue) of the characters, symbolic use of names, animal imagery and colour (clothes) and the ideas of cultural capital help to define what the lower and upper classes are.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams was written in 1947. The story takes place in New Orleans, and can be
…show more content…
In contrast the name Stanley offers no specific meaning in relation to meaning in the play. Secondly the name Dubois sounds aristocratic, with a possible proud heritage, whereas the name Kowalski sounds more modern. A Dubois speaks softly and flittingly, as the name is pronounced, whereas a Kowalski speaks loudly and brutally as the name is said. Kowalski 's enjoy loud, rowdy poker parties, whilst Dubois 's wince and prefer teas, cocktail parties and luncheons. The names of these two characters help in constructing the conflict between the two classes. The dialogue of Blanche and Stanley and the symbolic use of names help to construct class conflict in the play, A Streetcar Named Desire.

Stella represents the old south being converted by the new south. Blanche fights for Stella to come back and be part of the old south again, accusing Stella of being blinded by desire for Stanley ("What you are talking about is brutal desire - just - Desire!" Scene Four, Blanche). Elysian fields is described as having an atmosphere of decay. This scenery is contrasted to the image of white pillars at Belle Reve. This contrast is to highlight the difference in the world Stella has chosen (lower class lifestyle), and the world she was brought up in (upper class lifestyle). Colour is used by Stanley to keep Stella part of the new south. ("...You showed me the snapshot of the place with the columns. I pulled you down of
Get Access