Tragic Heroes Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire And The Great Gatsby

1961 WordsJan 4, 20158 Pages
Blanche Dubois and Jay Gatsby are portrayed as tragic heroes throughout A Streetcar Named Desire and The Great Gatsby. In tragic novels and plays protagonists are often dealing with a conflict that they will ultimately lose in some way. The protagonist is often trying to right a wrong that leads to the world returning to the way it was before the conflict. Blanche wants to return to the old south when she was a young girl and Gatsby to when he first met Daisy during the war. A tragic hero would have traditionally been portrayed in literature as someone who was high born or in a position of importance however Arthur Miller believed that ordinary people can be the subject of tragedies. Protagonists in most tragedies also have a hubris, a fatal flaw in their personality that will prevent them from succeeding and lead to their downfall. Miller wrote that a characters fatal flaw is a “willingness to fight against indignity” and that “the error must spring from a noble intention which is somehow thwarted then we can admire the character as well as blaming him”. Blanche’s hubris ultimately leads to her downfall in the play. Her inability to adapt to modern society and move forward with the times eventually leads to her becoming hospitalised at the end of the play. She represents the ‘Old South’ or a ‘Southern Belle’ connected to the ideas of gentility, culture, wealth and aristocracy. One of Blanche’s fatal flaws is her ability to create illusions. She constantly believes that Shep

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