• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A streetcar named desire - Tennessee Williams uses a variety of imagery and symbolism's in the play - How do these aspects contribute to the atmosphere of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tennessee Williams uses a variety of imagery and symbolism's in the play. How do these aspects contribute to the atmosphere of the play? The imagery and symbolism in the play are used by Williams to appeal to the senses and emotions of the audience and to help to create an atmosphere. Williams used imagery in the stage directions to attract the audience (or readers) attention. He makes use of the evocative power of figurative language when he is trying to convey in words the quality of a particular sound. " The infatuated fluency of brown fingers" (scene 1) this conveys the black pianist's skilful playing expressing the spirit of New Orleans. It portrays an atmosphere of the run-down slum areas of the Deep South. This imagery of the "blue piano" is introduced at the very start, and continues throughout the play, each time symbolising Stanley and his almost sinister character, and emphasising its importance. The constancy of this symbolism creates a threatening and foreboding impression, as whenever the " blue piano" is played some significant event happens, or a violent act from Stanley which will be essential for the development of the plot " Over her head he grins through the curtains at Blanche. ...read more.

Middle

The audience are given an insight into her mind, and become even more aware of the indication of her unstable mentality. " Polka music sounds, in a minor key faint with distance". This was the last dance Blanche had with Allan and the memories, blame and torment of it forever haunts her. The headlong rush of a locomotive is the symbolism of relentless fate, and impending force. Like the blue piano it creates tension and a suggestion of a threat. It is usually present when Stanley is around, and this imagery portrays Stanley's character as very forceful and aggressive. " Outside a train approaches. They are silent till the noise subsides. They are both in the bedroom. Under the cover of the train noise Stanley enters from outside." It gives the impression of inevitability and that what is about to happen cannot be changed. I looked up as we rounded the corner at the last terminal of the Toronto airport. There was a mass of people as far as I could see all chatting to each other in different languages as they waited for their friends ...read more.

Conclusion

She lives in darkness, but once she was blinded by light. " I made the discovery- love. all at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blind light on something that had always been half in shadow." The image of light and dark symbolises Blanches love for Allan. Consequently when he died she felt ever in darkness and sorrow. "The searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again." This light and dark imagery is a reference to Blanche's metaphor for a moth, which is a symbol extended through the play. She is symbolised as a fragile, delicate creature that cannot touch light. " ...as well as her white clothes that suggests a moth." Blanches lack of colour also emphasises this. The "desire" in the title is a symbol as it represents Blanches descent into disaster that develops throughout the play. Blanche is the main focus of the play; so much of the symbolism and imagery is centred on her. Imagery and symbolism are deliberate expresses of emotion that Tennessee Williams uses to create atmosphere with this play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the deterioration of Blanche's state of mind in the play A Streetcar Named ...

    3 star(s)

    'Honey, I told you I thoroughly checked on these stories!' By Blanche's birthday we find out that Stanley has already told Mitch about Stella and what he has found out, Mitch does not turn up to the birthday celebration. Stanley pushes Blanche over the edge again when he hands her the ticket back to Laurel for her birthday!

  2. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the importance of the past in A Streetcar Named Desire.

    3 star(s)

    She has brought Stella's personal identity to the forefront again. Stanley feels that the actions of the sisters together are a constant reminder of his lower working class background, and he feels inferior.

  1. Lighting, Music and other effects in 'A Streetcar named Desire'.

    There is a white radio presented in Scene 2 which serves almost as a building block for the relationship between Blanche and Mitch. The radio is white, symbolizing its purity and ironically, Stanley throws it out of the window soon after it has been listened to by Blanche and Mitch.

  2. Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire

    It foams over and spills. Blanche gives a piercing cry.] ... Blanche: Right on my pretty white skirt! ... Stella: Did it stain? Blanche: Not a bit... Stella: Why did u scream like that? Blanche: I don't know why I screamed!

  1. Who do you believe is the most to blame for Blanche’s fate at the ...

    The music plagues Blanche throughout the play, it is an incessant reminder of her dead husband. At the end of the play it takes over from reality. There are quite a few factors that lead to Blanche's downfall, I believe that many of them are owing to Blanche's sad past, and the death of her father, mother and husband.

  2. How does Tennessee Williams use of symbolism add to the dramatic impact at the ...

    insists that she does not drink: "Now don't get worried, you sister hasn't turned into a drunkard!" This is basically telling the audience that in fact she does have a drinking problem, and does not want other people to know.

  1. Consider how Tennessee Williams attempts to engage the sympathy of the audience by the ...

    the fact that she allows herself to rely on him so much. She herself admitted in scene one that she 'goes wild' when he is away for more than one night. She and Stanley share this passionate relationship fuelled by an immense physical attraction and it is though Stella is blind to anything else.

  2. A Streetcar Named Desire - scene by scene analysis.

    Stella is suddenly distracted and asks Stanley to take her to the hospital as the baby is coming. Scene Nine Later that evening Blanche is alone drinking. In her head she can hear polka music in her head. Mitch enters and he too has been drinking.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work