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Discuss the way Williams Presents the relationship between Blanche and Stanley explaining what you think is at stake in the conflict between them.

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Introduction

Name: Camille Reid Form: 6A Novel: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Instructions: Discuss the way Williams Presents the relationship between Blanche and Stanley explaining what you think is at stake in the conflict between them. Tennesse Williams is a brilliant playwright. He is the author of numerous well-known and excellent plays and his mastery of symbolism is obvious in the way he uses it to convey significant situations and qualities in his main characters. In A Streetcar Named Desire, two of his main characters, Blanche and Stanley, have conflicting personalities and it is in this particular play that his skill in the use of symbolism is most evident as he uses it to depict the relationship between the two, using many relevant symbols. In so doing, he manages to clearly identify to his audience what is at risk in the battle between Blanche and Stanley. This raises questions like who will win, how will he or she win and what will result from this victory or loss as the case may be. ...read more.

Middle

and in this world she can be as "prim and proper" as she chooses to be. These two opposing personalities, give rise to numerous confrontations, with the ultimate carries the penalty of completely annihilating one of the opposers. Williams uses yet another imagery, which depicts Stanley's way of life as a new and blooming era and Blanche's as an old and dying one. Although these two characters are living in the same age, Blanche is older than Stanley and Williams uses her to represent an old and dying era: the plantocracy for which she suffers and fades, as does the era she represents. Stanley's era thrives, and continuity of this is evident in the expectancy of a new Kowalski - a baby. It should be noted that this point I sin direct contrast to the people of Blanche's era dying as if the "Grim Reaper had put up his tent on (their) doorstep". With all these imageries, Williams used to describe the relationship between Stanley and Blanche, one thing is most apparent and that is Blanche will inevitably lose; just as a moth suffers from direct contact with light, reality diminishes illusion and an old era is replaced by a new. ...read more.

Conclusion

For Stanley, life is the survival of the fittest and only the strong survive. Stanley must protect his wife and future generation. Using the jungle imagery. Stanley must ensure the continuity of his specie; he must protect his women and off-spring (his soon expected baby). He must also provide food and shelter for them; all these things define him as a man in that society and his dominance must be maintained. As a result, when Blanche tries to turn Stella against Stanley she becomes a threat to Stanley's survival as a man. Stanley views Blanche as a rival and deals with her accordingly. Williams places both Blanche and Stanley in the same environment. Their struggle for survival can be likened unto a game where only the strongest survive. Blanche is falling back with the weak and dying (figuratively) and though this is sad, pity is not the determinant factor of life. Both Stanley and Stella have to shun their pity for Blanche in order to survive. Blanche and Stanley had separate and opposing interests and their lives are at stake in this battle; they are both fighting to survive and in this particular battle one of them must lose...it is all a part of the game. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, looking closely at Williams' techniques to present Blanche and Stanley's relationships. There is good understanding shown here, especially when tragedy is discussed. I do feel, however, that there isn't enough exploration of the ...

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Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, looking closely at Williams' techniques to present Blanche and Stanley's relationships. There is good understanding shown here, especially when tragedy is discussed. I do feel, however, that there isn't enough exploration of the audience's response and reception of Williams' presentation. When discussing tragedy, talking about the audience's helplessness and the inevitability of Blanche's downfall would be wise. Talking about genre at GCSE level is promising, and this would've been well received by examiners. I feel as if there is too much emphasis on imagery in this essay. I would've liked to have seen structure explored as well. Examiners are looking at how you analyse language, form and structure. Language and form (tragedy) are discussed but there is little on structure. Providing a breadth of points will make for a more convincing argument.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is strong, and this is because there is always a clear focus on techniques. With the majority of GCSE essays, candidates tend to simply retell the plot and narrate points to build an argument. This essay, however, will always focus on Williams' construction. For example "Williams achieves this effect by likening Blanche to a moth" is much better than saying "Blanche is like a moth, which suggests". By looking at the novel as a piece of drama, you will naturally analyse why techniques are used, and this essay does this well. With tasks addressing drama, examiners always like to see awareness of theatrical devices. It was great to see discussion of stage directions, and this could've been taken further to talk about lighting and sound. As mentioned above, this essay could've consolidated the analysis further by discussing the audience's response. When writing "Williams has prepared the audience for the destruction of Blanche when it comes" I would be desperate to discuss how the audience are helpless as they see Blanche's downfall unfold. Such perceptive debate and interpretations are what place an essay in the top bands.

Quality of writing

This essay had a clear structure, with an okay choice of paragraphs. The introduction was okay, but I had to laugh at "Tennessee Williams is a brilliant playwright." as it has no relevance to the task whatsoever. It's key at GCSE that you get out of the habit of aimlessly putting in comments about author's history and contextual features in an introduction. The rest of the introduction is strong, however, looking at key techniques and giving a brief insight to why this conflict is represented. I felt there were too many paragraphs on imagery, and it may be wise to pick the best examples and group them together. Else, the essay just feels as if you're dragging out one point, making it less convincing. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine.


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Reviewed by groat 20/04/2012

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