What Is Gender Roles In A Streetcar Named Desire

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The great disparity between the societal roles of men and women within different historical contexts, is a controversial topic that has been explored by literary masterpieces from all time periods. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a post-World War Two play set in New Orleans, Louisiana. It focuses on the lives of Stella and Stanley, a stereotypical post-war American couple, and Blanche, Stella’s sister who intrudes in the couple’s home and ultimately in their marriage. A Doll’s House, a play written by Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright, in the year 1879, also manifests the male-female dynamic. The play depicts Nora, a wife and mother who lies to keep her marriage and her family together, yet is shunned for her sacrifices…show more content…
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche evades light as she says off the bat “And turn that over-light off! Turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare.” For Blanche, light embodies not only the truth of her age, but also the reality of her tragic life she attempts to escape through her delusions. She covers a naked lightbulb with a Chinese paper lantern just as how she wraps truth with lies. Music also is a prevalent symbolism throughout the play. The most significant piece that is used in the play is the Varsouviana polka, which plays whenever Blanche is confronted with her tragic past. The music carries undertones of foreboding disasters that eventually befall her. FInally, the streetcar Blanche rode on is a symbolism in itself. Blanche says in the first scene, “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at--Elysian Fields!” This symbolism foreshadows what becomes of her life when she lives with Stella and Stanley. Her final destination here can be considered the afterlife, and cemetery the mental institution she was admitted
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