Streetcar Named Desire - Presentation of Blanche and Themes

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Streetcar Named Desire Essay Question: “Comment on how this extract (pg12 to pg14) helps to establish the presentation of Blanche and the concerns and themes of the play as a whole. You must consider the extract’s dramatic impact and how Williams has used language, imagery and structure.” Throughout the play Blanche is presented by Williams as a delicate being, not dissimilar to a moth. She is portrayed as weak and desperate and as though she is on the verge of a mental breakdown. In this extract her character is contrasted with the author’s depiction of Stanley. Kowalski’s beast-like traits and inhuman strength are opposed to Blanche’s language capabilities right from the meeting between the two. Within this section the playwright portrays Blanche to have poor people skills as well as a desperate defiance and an intellectual ability. Williams also contrasts these traits with Stanley’s rough and compact nature that are part of the modern era of America that is going to crush and get rid of the older, weaker America that Blanche symbolises. Firstly, Williams uses personification to emphasise the immense force and effect that the family deaths have had on Blanche. This emotional turmoil is portrayed as powerful “blows in (her) face and (her) body” showing how painful that these deaths were for her and how influential they were in the loss of Belle Reve. The readers could attribute these deaths as the cause for Blanche’s seemingly fragile nature because family grievances can very difficult to cope with and more than one in such a short space of time may mean that it takes a long time to find a coping mechanism. Furthermore, the deaths could offer an explanation as to why Blanche won’t stand in the light and prefers a different light. Funerals and deaths are stereotypically associated with darkness and the colour black and so it could suggest that when Blanche evades
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