How does Tennessee Williams use setting and stage directions and motifs in the play?
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How does Tennessee Williams use setting and stage directions and motifs in the play? List the different devices Williams uses? Explain what they tell us:. Eg . Costume Blanche’s frilly white dresses: Old fashioned Ultra feminine Faded Hypocracy – pretending to be pure

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How does Tennessee Williams use setting and stage directions and motifs in the play?

List the different devices Williams uses?

Explain what they tell us:

  • Eg. Costume

  • Blanche’s frilly white dresses:

  • Old fashioned

  • Ultra feminine

  • Faded

  • Hypocracy – pretending to be pure

  • Stanley’s clothing:

  • Modern

  • Plain – what you see is what you get

  • Masculine


Blanche is representative of the Old South and motifs in the play?

Stanley is representative of New America (post-war)

What could we say about the Old South and New America from what we know about the characters?


You are a director looking for actors to take the roles of Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What physical qualities would you look for in the actor?

What dramatic qualities would they need to possess?


Symbolism: Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What do these symbolise?

Belle Reve Blanche Stella Stanley

Bathing Alcohol Bright light Paper

What can you say about these contrasts in the play?

White and Black (dark) Old and New

Fantasy and Reality Big and Small

Eloquent speech and ‘Rough’ speech


Long Day’s Journey into Night Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

Look at the opening stage directions about the house:

(up to ‘It is around 8.30...’)

What do they suggest about the family?


Now look at the descriptions of the Mary and James Tyrone: Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What impressions do we have?

What contrasts are there within and between the characters?


Look at the dialogue between Tyrone and Mary Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What impression do we have of their relationship?

How does Eugene O’Neill want us to feel about the characters at this stage of the play?

Can you see any problems which may be lurking, from this initial dialogue?


Now look at the entry of James and Edmund Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What do O’Neill’s descriptions say about them?

How are we meant to feel about them?


Read on to p29 – she disappears through the back parlour. Stanley, Blanche, Mitch and Stella.

What impressions are we getting of the characters?

What impressions are we getting of the relationships between them?


Read on to P35 – ‘you’re more responsible than anyone.’

What do we learn about Tyrone?

What do we learn about Jamie?

What does Jamie think about Tyrone?


Read to p37 – ‘...antagonisms could be forgotten.’ anyone.’

What do we learn about the boys’ lives?

What does Tyrone think of them?

What do the final stage directions of this extract suggest about the relationship between Tyrone and Jamie?


Read on to the end of the act, focusing particularly on Mary anyone.’

  • What do we learn about her life?

  • How does she feel about Tyrone?

  • What issues have been raised?

  • Find one line (spoken by Mary) which sums up the problems in the family at the moment.


What themes have we met in the first act? anyone.’

What are the problems and issues in this family?

There are repeated mentions of fog and foghorns – what might these suggest?


  • Essay Question: anyone.’

  • Compare the presentation and functions of the openings of Streetcar and Long Day’s Journey.

  • When you plan your essay, look for similarities and differences.

  • Consider:

  • What are the functions of the openings?

  • How do the writers fulfil these functions?


From last lesson we were looking at: anyone.’

Can you link the presentation to functions?


In order to answer the question, you need to have analysed these elements for both plays

In the exam, spend time doing this – planning is everything!!!

Once you have your analysis, then you can form a thesis – how are the openings similar/ how are they different?

You need to outline this briefly, as an introduction to your essay.


Then you can write your essay – use the boxes on your table as sections of your essay.

Remember your essay needs to be comparative.

How could we structure it?


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