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With close reference to the language and action of the following passage, discuss Williams presentation of Blanches first appearance in the play.

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Introduction

Improvements Needed: I would like to improve the length of my essays, shorten my introduction and use far more quotations more effectively. With close reference to the language and action of the following passage, discuss Williams' presentation of Blanche's first appearance in the play. Introductions and first impressions play an important role in a novel. Streetcar Named Desire, the character of Blanche is the center of the play, in which all the problems that arise are as a result of Blanche's actions or simply her presence. Tennessee Williams conveys this in the beginning scene of the play, where Blanche is instantly distinguished as a stranger to the setting. She is seen being patronizing towards the other characters of the play, giving of the impression to the audience of a snobbish attitude. ...read more.

Middle

This contrasting has been made more noticeable through William's use of simile, "as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party". Williams uses this oxymoron of Blanche's "delicate beauty' avoiding "a strong light", at the same time likening her to a "moth", which is attracted to the light; Williams gives the audience the view that she is beautiful, unique and out of place, whilst at the same time likening her to a moth which is a pesky insect, hanging around lights and creating a disturbance to those around it. We, as the audience watching the play, would feel that Blanche is a peculiar character, and certainly very "incongruous" in the streets of New Orleans. Eunice, the interaction of Blanche and her, further demonstrates how Blanche is ill suited to the 'vibe' of New Orleans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blanche and Eunice have a conversation but Blanche responds as concisely as possible while Eunice tries to keep the conversation going, this is interesting as Blanches demeanor completely changes over a very short period of time. When summarized, the playwright, Williams, portrays Blanche as an aristocratic character of whom heavily contrasts with the mood and atmosphere of New Orleans yet later on we discover her past fits incredibly well with the pulse of the French Quarter. Blanche shall display many a personalities to those watching, the audience, from reclusive and soft spoken, through to out right arrogance and being highly obnoxious. When it comes down to it, Williams, being the playwright he is, has been able to convey the complexities of Blanche wonderfully in such a short section of scene one, the most crucial part of the play. Alan Scandrett Word Count: 738 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay has potential, and shows a thorough knowledge of the opening scene of the play. The introduction is okay, with the first three sentences offering an effective opening. However, the rest of the introduction begins to summarise the plot ...

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Response to the question

This essay has potential, and shows a thorough knowledge of the opening scene of the play. The introduction is okay, with the first three sentences offering an effective opening. However, the rest of the introduction begins to summarise the plot rather than focus on the techniques Williams uses. It is important that you maintain an analytical stance rather than simply retelling the story, as you won't gain marks for simple knowledge. To sustain analysis, there needs to be discussion of techniques rather than what happens in the play.

Level of analysis

The essay's analysis is more akin to a GCSE essay. At A-Level you are expected to discuss techniques collectively, rather than feature spot. For example this essays talks of Williams use of "delicate beauty" as an oxymoron and some symbols. This analysis is good, but in isolation it doesn't build an argument. You should be looking at constructing paragraphs to analyse language, form and structure rather than going chronologically through the plot picking techniques. I did like how there was an awareness of authorial construction: phrases such as "Williams uses" or "Williams portrays" show the examiner that you understand there is a purpose to the play. There is some discussion of the audience response in this essay, but if it wants to move into the higher bands this needs to be me thorough. I would've liked to have seen more focus on tragedy as a genre, looking at how Williams may be constructing Blanche's hamartia in the opening scene. Such discussion will elevate this essay.

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Reviewed by groat 11/07/2012

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