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Blanche and Stanley represent a struggle between new and old world values

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Blanche and Stanley represent a struggle between new and old world values. How is this shown? The struggle between the new and old world is shown by the contrasting characters of Blanche and Stanley. Throughout the play Blanche has a high opinion of herself and often asks for example, "Do I look done in?" she asks these questions expecting a compliment. The way in which she behaves is all that she has left of her old status, and her belief of superiority is all that is left off the old world. Throughout the play she expects to be waited on and treated better than everyone else, she cannot accept that the old world is gone, and the way that she meets with Stanley is representative of the clash of the two worlds. Both worlds are complete opposites, for example Stanley's character embodies all that is the new world and America, everyone is equal and he believes respect must be earned and that it is not a given right. This is shown in the way that he treats Blanche, when she asks them not to stand up he says to his friends, "Don't stand up," Stanley belief in equality is a strong message throughout the play, even though Blanche goes through the play believing she is superior, Stanley continuously treats as an equal, not lesser nor higher. ...read more.


The new world's control is shown when Stanley hits Stella, who is a product of the old world, and when he has sex with Blanche. Stanley always gets what he wants throughout the play. He answers to no one, and when Stella says, "your fingers and face are disgustingly greasy go on wash up," he throws his plate on the floor, while emotionally immature Stanley "primitive" behaviour shows him as a strong character. Williams uses Stanley as a tool to show how common people can rule over the aristocrats like Blanche and Stella. The strength and equality of the new world is shown when they play poker, the table similar to Arthur's round table which stood for equality, for each man around that table is equal to the others. The strength of the poker game in the play is shown in the way that the women frmm Belle Reve are forced to leave the house so it can be played, leaving the men of the new world to play. When the men are playing poker Stella gets hit, another signal of the new world's strength and brutality. They are also playing poker at the end of the play where Blanche is taken away, this is when the old world dies for the men ignore Blanche and do not give her supposed respect. ...read more.


Williams also shows another interesting point, the unification of Stanley and Stella, and a child of both worlds, this also shows acceptance of the old world to the new world. There is a large contrast between the relationships of the two old world women, Stella loves Stanley and has joined his new world, while Blanche is almost addicted to the old ways and will never give them up. Williams shows two sides of the conflict between the two worlds. The struggle of the two worlds ends in scene ten; Stanley is the survivor of the conflict, while Blanche is emotionally crippled by the experience. Stanley of the new world conquers Blanche's old world. This new world is cruder, less intelligent, the new world gains victory through their physical vitality not natural superiority. The play shows a struggle of the two classes, where the new world is the clear victor, but in the play Stanley had to deceive Stella about the sex with Blanche, and Stella had to lie to herself in not believing Stanley had sex with Blanche to avoid the emotional turmoil and with the new baby. So in the end even though the new world won, it didn't come without comprise. Williams uses a lot of symbolism throughout the play to do with death of the old world and the rising power of the new world, he clearly dislikes the old world for he casts a deceitful and arrogant character, yet he feels that the new world will be more harsh and crueller like Stanley. ...read more.

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