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Explain how Williams creates our awareness of Blanche's increasing anxiety in scene 5.

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Introduction

Explain how Williams creates our awareness of Blanche's increasing anxiety in scene 5 The audience is aware of the tension building between the characters from the onset of Scene 5 through the loud argument between Steve and Eunice. Williams continues to build up the tension throughout the scene using several techniques, emphasising in particular Blanche's mood. Blanche who suddenly bursts into a peal of laughter makes the first sound; not only does laughter represent nervousness but also the spontaneity of the laughter begins to suggest how unstable Blanche has become already during her stay. Williams gives clear directions as to the noises and actions Blanche should be making throughout the scene; this makes the audience aware that this scene relies on the way in which characters say things rather then what they are saying, especially when Blanche and Stanley are interacting. The main indicator of Blanche's increasing anxiety is her continual laughter, Williams gives several different directions as to how she should laugh. ...read more.

Middle

Blanche appears to behave in a way that suggests she does not believe that her sister's way of life is real. This is shown through the way in which Blanche reacts to the fight between Steve and Eunice, asking brightly "Did he kill her?" as though it were a play or a story. Another example is when she announces that she is "compiling a notebook of quaint little words and phrases" that she learns, suggesting that she sees this as a learning experience. The final example of Blanche's play-acting is her encounter with the young man, the way in which she flirts, kisses him and then tells him to "Run along now!" comes across as unreal and made up. It is as though Blanche is living in her own dream world and living out fantasies. Another interpretation of this encounter is that she is searching for love and romance or perhaps the love she once experienced with her young husband that she lost. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension between the characters is shown to become a three-way build up when Stanley refuses to give Stella "one kiss" in front of her sister. The audience is aware of the tension built from this situation as earlier on in Scene one, Stella makes it clear that she is drawn to Stanley because of their sexual interaction when she declares that she "can hardly stand it when he is away for a night...". The climax of the scene comes from Blanche giving a piercing cry when the coke Stella is pouring foams over onto Blanche's clean white skirt - which is a possible symbol for her purity. Overall, Williams makes the audience aware of Blanche's increasing anxiety throughout the scene using several techniques, in particular the actions and noises Blanche is directed to make. The tension is introduced from the start and although climaxes half way through, the tension can still be felt and is continued into the next scene. Zoe Dixon A Streetcar Named Desire AS English Literature ...read more.

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