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How effective is the ending of Streetcar as a resolution to the conflict between Stella, Stanley and Blanche?

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Introduction

How effective is the ending of Streetcar as a resolution to the conflict between Stella, Stanley and Blanche? The final scenes in the play are not simply present to provide a conclusive ending to events, nor to simply focus on the demise of Blanche's sanity and her subsequent withdrawal from reality. Instead, Williams treats the subjects of Blanche's departure in sufficiently enough detail to allow the reader to focus on the consequences concerning the other characters without losing focus on the main plot of exit of Blanche's exit. William's technique of constricting each scene almost like a one act play allows certain themes to reoccur without seeming repetitive, overall achieving a complete and decisive conclusion as Blanche is led away. The audience is left not only with feelings of remorse that a character can deteriorate so totally, but revelation, gained from the momentary insight into Stella and Stanley's newly established relationship. One of the elements that make the ending so successful is the manner in which Williams denigrates Blanche's respectability and self-worth. Her story alters from scene to scene, so that both the characters and the audience are able to fully realise that she is losing her protective cover. ...read more.

Middle

The omission of the actual rape does not make the act less significant, on the contrary, its exclusion intensifies its offensiveness, for like the final lines in the scene, the fact that it is not seen makes the audience feel powerless to change the course of events. If Blanche does indeed represent the old ways of the South then her rape can additionally be seen as the final destruction of the South and the morals and philosophy it contains. Stella's sobbing, filled with 'inhumane abandonment,' at the loss of her sister, suggests that she is either mourning the loss of her sister into her personal world of fantasy, or more realistically grieving for both herself and her sister, and their consequent predicaments. Her intense grief implies a development of character, for she obviously recognises that Blanche's downfall was not merely a result of the deaths she was forced to witness in Belle Reve, but the lack of support Stella was able to offer, and the cruel actions of Stanley. In this respect, the audience may find it hard to believe that Stella completely disbelieves her sister's story, instead, is blinded by her determination to hold onto Stanley and all that he represents to her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The change of game may reflect the change of attitude, for although all characters appear to be eager to return to everyday life, it I known that this can never be so. This technique of speaking offstage makes unfolding events concerning the couple seem extremely ominous. Although the audience had no impact upon the events or the decisions made in the first place, by directing the play in this way, William's leaves the audience with a feeling of unease, for it is felt that Stanley and Stella's lives together will never return to the way they originally were. Additionally, the offhand manner in which the next game is announced does not bode well for their future together. The final image is filled with irony, firstly portraying Stanley as the supportive father figure and husband whilst comforting Stella in her misery. The incompatible personalities of Stanley and Blanche are resolved here, for it is Stanley who secures Stella's loyalty and favour, indicating a permanent end to the Old South's romanticism and chivalric society. The end scene with the doctor also ironically reinforces Blanche's total dependence upon men for happiness, the very element that was responsible for her downfall originally. "I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers." ...read more.

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