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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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