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Past Vs Present. A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee Williams. Conflict between values of old world and the new. Contrast between Stanley and Blanche Represent different aspects of American society!. Stanley represents the American dream – that all men are

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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Past Vs Present

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams


Conflict between values of old world and the new

  • Contrast between Stanley and Blanche

  • Represent different aspects of American society!

Stanley represents the American dream – that all men are

born equal and can succeed equally. He is associated with the

world of stark reality, rooted in the present.

conflict

Blanche represents the old world, where class and race were important issues.

She is associated with a fantasy world, rooted in the past.


The South

associated with a landed elite in elegant houses

For Tennessee Williams the South stood for strong

cultural values whilst the North was greedy and sordid

Little reference to WW2 – Williams was more affected by American Civil War


Belle Reve

Associated with:

  • Past

  • Death

  • False illusion of pastoral beauty

Old America is seen as a beautiful dream in Blanche’s mind

- in reality it is based on racism and prejudice.


Blanche

represents the faded grandeur of the American past

Already a ghost!

  • White clothes

  • Fear of light

  • Detachment of reality


The present

Stark reality

Stanley is associated with the present.

New Orleans is associated with:

  • Modern

  • Mixed

  • Open/frank

  • Sexuality/relationships

Involvement in WW2 led to

Economic boom, rise in immigrants

and a mix in classes

Privileged/plantation (past)

V’s

Immigrant in New Orleans


Stanley

strips away the illusions

embedded in the past

Conflict between values of old world and the new!

Hypocrisy of old America

Vs

Vulgarity of new America

Unborn baby gives hope to darkness of the play

- mixture of Stanley and Stella


Dialogue

  • Sentimental/poetic

  • Abruptness/simplicity

Blanche

Stanley


Climax

  • Tennessee Williams was influenced by European culture increases dramatic tension through revealing to the audience the degree to which the character’s self image is pretence.

The climax comes when the character

is forced to confront

both past and present simultaneously!

Essence of the character

is disclosed


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