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How does Williams establish and developthe tensions between Blanche and Stanley in the first three scenes? Where do your sympathies lie?

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Introduction

How does Williams establish and develop the tensions between Blanche and Stanley in the first three scenes? Where do your sympathies lie? A Street Car named Desire is a play written about a wife and sister caught between a conflict concerning her violent, rough but loving husband and her long lost sister who criticises the way she lives her life. As the tension build between Stanley, the husband and Blanche, the sister something seems bound to erupt sooner than later. Scene one is where we are first introduced to both Stanley and Blanche. At first glance, Stanley seems like any other boyish husband, joking and laughing with his male friends. In our first taste of Blanche, we notice she isn't used to life in a below average area with her disbelief at realising she has found her sister's house; "This - can this be - her home?" It becomes clear she is of a higher class than Stella and possible rifts already begin to appear between the pair. ...read more.

Middle

This nervous silence makes it clear to the audience that these two characters both have a slight edge about their brief meeting. However, Stanley's view of Blanche worsens in the following scene when he suspects Blanche on conning him and his wife out of some money; "She didn't show you no papers, no deed of sale or nothing like that, huh?" "Well, what the hell was it then, give away? To charity?" "Open your eyes to this stuff! You think she got them out of teacher's pay?" Stanley's sarcasm in his speech only underlines his suspicion of his sister-in-law. He goes to confront Blanche later in the scene. The two have an argument about the subject and it is made clear, to the audience, that the two are from very different backgrounds; "Your looks are okay" "I was fishing for a compliment, Stanley" "I don't go for that stuff" "What - stuff?" "Compliments to women about their looks" Blanche's clear want for attention and admiration is harshly ignored and turned away by Stanley. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play is set to end in doom. In my personal opinion, I'm torn between the two. On one side we have sweet, innocent Blanche who seems to feel like and alien in her sister's habitat. In the first two scenes she seems content to let Stanley play his mind games and ignore him as much as she can. But in scene three, her obvious plan to upset Stanley succeeds and I can't help but think she's planning something else in the long run to, ultimately, get rid of Stanley for good. On the other hand, Stanley has had it in for Blanche from the start. His body language and dialogue seem to show he wants to asset his authority on her as quick as he can. He tries to upset her on purpose and has the same intention of getting rid of her as she does him. I think it is too early to pick sides now but, by the finale of the play, one side must ultimately win and one lose. By Lee Waller ...read more.

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