A Streetcar Named Desire Critical Essay

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‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is an intriguing play by Tennessee Williams. Throughout the play the two main characters, Blanche and Stanley, are constantly confronting each other as they both have conflicting personalities. This conflict capitulates at scene 10 when Stanley rapes Blanche, which leads to her eventual demise. Stanley’s animalistic demeanor is shown from the outset of the play: “Stanley carries a red-stained package” This quotation is a metaphorical representation of what Stanley is capable of. He is a brutal and violent character which is portrayed through the blood-stained package. The colour symbolism of red conveys his passion but also how dangerous he can be to those around him. His image is in direct contrast with Blanche when we first see her, which suggests there will be conflict between them. Blanche’s appearance is in contrast with her new surroundings when she is first seen: “Her appearance is incongruous to its setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice... her white clothes that suggests a moth” As Blanche is “incongruous” to her setting she is different to those around her and she will never belong. The colour symbolism of white suggests that Blanche is pure, innocent and virginal which is in direct contrast with the blood-red of Stanley. However, the “fluffy bodice” suggests that she is frivolous and suggests that she isn’t completely pure and innocent. The link between Blanche and a “moth” suggests that Blanche’s actions will lead to her own self destruction just like moths venture towards lights that will eventually kill them; The light also symbolizes the danger for Blanche as it is the truth about her promiscuous past. Stanley is able to see through Blanche’s deceit which causes tension between them: “He holds the bottle to the light to observe its depletion” The light symbolizes the truth about
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