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Tennessee Williams wrote in a letter that It (Streetcar) is a tragedy with the classic aim of producing a catharsis of pity and terror and in order to do that, Blanche must finally have the understanding and compass

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5 star(s)

A very effective essay which addresses the question in detail and shows a balanced appraisal of the key characters.
*****

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 01/01/2012

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5 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay engages superbly with the task. Although the question seems quite cryptic, this essay is able to pose a strong argument saying that Blanche's tragedy is caused by her misunderstanding and not Stanley. A clear definition of tragedy is ...

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Response to the question

This essay engages superbly with the task. Although the question seems quite cryptic, this essay is able to pose a strong argument saying that Blanche's tragedy is caused by her misunderstanding and not Stanley. A clear definition of tragedy is used in the introduction, allowing for an argument which is focused on these qualities. I liked how there is a sustained focus on audience response, as is vital when writing about a play as it shows an understanding of the context of reception. The conclusion is slightly weak, in contrast to the rest of the essay, as it simply summarises the points made rather than making a perceptive insight.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is superb. Language is always analysed closely, looking at meanings beyond feature spotting. It is key at A-Level to look at the significance of meanings, rather than simply pointing out techniques. This essay does this well, for example "Williams uses this motif to symbolise her escape from reality" shows an understanding of the technique, and then explains its significance to the play. I liked how there is a focus on Blanche's appearance on stage, as many people simply ignore stage directions and appearance. This comes under context of reception, and such analysis will gain credit. I particularly liked the style here, with a constant reference to Williams' aims. Phrases such as "Williams uses" or "Williams makes" shows a clear understanding of the importance of his constructs, and doesn't talk about the characters as if they make their own decisions! Such style allows for a convincing argument, as there is a clear focus on the audience response beyond the analysis. Technical terms regarding tragedy are used fluently such as "catharsis of terror", and this paragraph in particular is very sophisticated. The progression of tragedy is tracked, and the audience's response to Blanche's tragic fall. Being able to show a clear awareness of the play's purpose beyond specific extracts will gain credit.

Quality of writing

The structure here is very strong. The introduction is cogent, and there is a clear conclusion. Each paragraph has a clear signpost which relates back to the question, allowing for a set of focused points which do not overlap or repeat anything. Technical and literary terms are used fluently in the analysis, and spelling, punctuation and grammar are flawless. The style is sophisticated, and shows a strong ability to craft an argument. This essay is superb!


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Reviewed by groat 23/03/2012

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Related AS and A Level A Street Car Named Desire essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Tennessee Williams wrote in a letter that It (Streetcar) is a tragedy with the ...

    5 star(s)

    As the audience are first introduced to Blanche on stage, we immediately recognise her as an outcast to New Orleans society as she wanders in 'shocked disbelief' towards Stella's new home. The visual image Williams creates of her 'carrying a valise' whilst wearing a 'fluffy bodice' is a stark contrast to the urban surroundings and the 'easy intermingling of races'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent can Blanche Dubois be considered a tragic hero?

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    In some respects, Blanche's eventual fall from grace is implied from the beginning of the play, in scene 1 she says "They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and then ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields."

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Williams use dramatic devices in A Streetcar Named Desire to heighten the ...

    4 star(s)

    She seems entirely deluded at this point and almost a pathetic and tragic figure. Williams also uses dramatic irony in scene seven where Blanche sings Paper Moons in the bath suggesting her hope in a future with Mitch rests on him believing in her illusions however, the audience are then allowed revelations about her past from Stanley.

  2. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can Blanche Dubois be described as a tragic victim in A ...

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    off again'.This shows that since that point, Blanche has become dependent on men to survive, making her tragic, as she relies on others to live. She is a victim, she gives power to others, who then abuse it and take control of her.

  1. Blanche and Mitch's relationship in "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams.

    This event scarred her, and she carried the guilt from his suicide from then on. I think that she feels she failed her husband, and she tries to find men who have some of his qualities and remind her of her dead husband.

  2. How important are illusions and fantasy as themes in 'A Streetcar Named Desire?'

    -Were I'm not wanted and where I'm ashamed to be..." Throughout the play, Stanley is represented as the dominant male in the household ("I am the king around here, so don't forget it". Stanley is represented as dominate, and the fact that he is controlling throughout the play (strips away

  1. How relevant are the stage directions in the first scene of 'A Streetcar Named ...

    'She carefully replaces the bottle and washes out the tumbler at the sink'. Throughout the first scene there are numerous occasions where Williams draws attention to Blanche's drinking habits. He does this to keep us aware of her weakness and also to emphasize that she is very dependent on drink to calm her nerves and give her confidence.

  2. How does Tennessee Williams show conflict between Blanche and Stanley?

    Could be described as the typical 'macho man', womaniser. '...since earliest manhood the centre of his life has been pleasure with women...his appreciation of rough humour, his love for good drink and food and games, his car, his radio..' Stanley has no patience for Blanche's distortions of the truth, he

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