• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the writers' use of language in 'A dolls House' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the writers' use of language in 'A dolls House' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' Language is but one of the many mediums of communication that the playwright has available to them; it is often the most used yet it is not the only medium used. Along with lighting and stage directions, spoken language can be emphasised and changed. Henrik Ibsen had a relatively small environment to work in, one room and had little stage changing. This may have been as a result of less emphasis being put on staging and stage direction in his society, as the theatre was only available to the upper classes. Language was of the utmost importance as the plays were viewed by the educated. Conversely, Tennessee Williams would have had to address a wider audience as a result of the theatre becoming more available to all classes. Therefore there was a dependence on visual aids to convey a point to society. This is evident through his use of sound, lighting, staging, props, and colour. In Ibsen's play, Torvald can be seen to act with selfish intent, this is evident through his money saving and the allowance that he grants Nora. ...read more.


Ibsen has highlighted the oppression of women in the patriarchal society that was present when he wrote this play. Conversely, Tennessee Williams has distanced Blanche from Stanley and Stella through her use of language. She is far more poetic and is well spoken. She would sound out of 'sync' with the rest of the characters on state. With this, Williams is illustrating the great change that America has undergone in the mid-twentieth century. There is also conflict in the two plays in similar circumstances. Ibsen conveys to the audience the mounting tension between Nora and Torvald. It is conveyed through their limited conversation and explicitly when Nora retorts, "No that's just it. You don't understand me." This conflict is between man and wife. A similar conflict is present in A Streetcar Named desire. There is a conflict between a husband and his wife's sister. Stanley and blanche are conflicting personalities; Stanley is a dominating male and Blanche is a believer that women should be respected. There is a sexual tension that mounts even though they are not married, and this is present through the progression of the play and finally peaks when Stanley rapes Blanche. ...read more.


Williams has chosen for Blanche to use this language to emphasise the difference between her and the other characters, no only in appearance. This was contrasted to the society that Blanche is present in, New Orleans. The average worker lives in the area and no one is especially educated. The other characters such as Stella and Stanley use a very simple and colloquial language. "STANLEY: Hiyuh, Stella, Blanche back?" In this quote Stanley is asking for Blanche only because they are conflicting personalities, Blanche is condescending and derogatory to Stanley, "... I haven't noticed the stamp of genius even on Stanley's head." In retaliation, Stanley is aggressive towards her. Their conflict grows ever strong and antagonistic throughout the play. In A Streetcar Named Desire the language evolves through the play and the characters use of language become more violent and explicit. Stanley becomes every violent towards Blanche as the play progresses, "STANLEY: .........(He seizes her arm.) Don't ever talk that way to me!" This progression to more aggressive language is also featured in A Dolls House where Nora, the female protagonist, voices her opinion more openly and assertively as the play progresses and this comes as quite a shock to Torvald, "NORA: No that's just it. You don't understand me." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level A Street Car Named Desire section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level A Street Car Named Desire essays

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire - scenes 2 and 3 reviewed.

    They say he has 'Seven five-dollar bills in his pants pocket folded up tight as spit balls.', and they also talked of 'a piggy bank his mother [gave] him for Christmas.' * From Mitch and Blanche's conversation we can see that there are many shared lines.

  2. A Steercar Named Desire - Blanche's Psychological Breakdown.

    streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields" (Quirino 63). Taken literally this does not seam to add much to the story. However, if one investigate Blanche's past one can truly understand what this quotation symbolizes.

  1. In what ways can 'A Streetcar Named Desire' be seen as a modern tragedy?

    This ignorant, racist comment distances Blanche again, and Stanley's reply "what I am is a one hundred percent American", would have immediately re-endeared him to the audience, especially at a time of such social integration. It is this uncertainty as to who we should support - Blanche or Stanley -

  2. Language in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

    specific language choices, as she uses her dialogue to try and better herself. A characteristic of Blanche's language would be her southern dialect; she has a traditional accent, which is more rounded than the northern states, with elongated vowel sounds.

  1. A streetcar named desire - Exploration notes context/structure/language/plot&subplot/visual aural spatial.

    * His father - Cornelius Coffin Williams, was an alcoholic and is said to have been very abusive towards his son. He was often violent towards most of his family. There are such clear links between Cornelius and Stanley - the drinking, the violence etc - there it is hard to imagine that Stanley was based on anyone else.

  2. 'Cat on A Hot Tin Roof' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' are plays in ...

    As the play progresses, Blanche's disguise deteriorates and her status declines, simultaneously to the revelation of her past. It should be noted here, that prior to her arrival in New Orleans, her moral and physical status was already part ruined, but she still held her sanity, which she loses to

  1. Streetcar named Desire: dramatic tension

    - scene 1. It then goes on to say about how Stanley's main pleasure in life has been women: Stage direction: "He sizes women up at a glance, with sexual classifications, crude images flashing into his mind and determining the way he smiles at them."

  2. The themes of death and desire are central in the play A Streetcar Named ...

    Upon discovering this Blanche says she is "disgusted" and Allan promptly commits suicide. With this we see Allan's desire for personal and social acceptance go unfulfilled, and it is this desire which leads to his death by his own hand.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work