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

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

Extracts from this document...


LIGHTING, MUSIC AND OTHER EFFECTS IN 'A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE' Colours, lighting and Music in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' have many uses, and symbolize the tension between the two main protagonists in the text - Blanche and Stanley. These two characters are constantly trying to win the attention of Stella by vigorous arguments and confrontations with each other. Throughout the text, Blanche is represented by light or subdued colours. These light colours are meant to portray her innocence and her ignorance of her own thoughts and the real world around her. Stanley is represented by more vivid and almost obnoxious colours, which are meant to represent his prejudiced, harsh and jealous nature. The colour schemes between the two characters clash, just as their personalities do in the story. Inward emotions are also presented to us by certain sounds or music throughout the text. A wide spectrum of light, colours, and sound give us the structure of each of the characters and there conflicts. The 'Blue piano' plays a key role in the tension felt between the characters in the story as well as it reflecting the overall attitude of the text. The key points in the plot are also emphasised by the music and the volume at which it is played. It is stated in the beginning of the drama, that "this 'Blue piano' expresses the spirit of the life which goes on here" (Scene 1). ...read more.


A world her mind calls home. At the start of the play, Blanche throws a fit when Stella turns on the overhead light and has a good chance to see her. She exclaims that "Daylight never exposed so total a ruin!". Blanche does the same thing to Mitch later on. She tells Mitch, "I bought this adorable little coloured paper lantern at a Chinese shop on Bourbon. Put it over the light bulb! Will you, please?" This keeps Blanche out of reality for the time being, but towards the end of her fall, she is forced to see reality by Mitch. Mitch shows up later in Scene 9 looking at his worst, reflecting his feelings at that time. He then shines the light on Blanche where she is forced to see her world - ugly as it may be. Mitch then pulls the lamp away and Blanche becomes unglued. She has been exposed and at the same time enlightened. Blanche's "magic world away from reality" (Scene 6) was created by her ex-husband. The way he shocked her destroyed her ability to deal with reality for the rest of her life. In Scene 6, Blanche describes to Mitch about her spouses relations with another man. Evidently, this was a massive shock to her, described as it being "like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half a shadow, that's how it struck the world for me". ...read more.


He grins at her as he knots the tasselled sash around his waist" (Scene 10). The colours, lights, and shadows go crazy as Blanche is taken by Stanley. This is the straw that broke the camels back as far as Blanche is concerned and the start of Blanche's end has begun. The end of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is a sad for one Blanche and to a certain extent Stella. Stanley has already defeated Miss Dubois, and since he has completely dominated the situation, Stella will not believe Blanche's story of the rape. "Lurid reflections appear on the walls in odd, sinuous shapes" (Scene 11), indicating that Blanche has finally lost it. Stanley and Stella have Blanche sent away to the mental hospital and there is no way for her to fight her way out. She is defeated. The doctor soothes her defeat and the lighting becomes steady, "As he speaks her name, her terror subsides a little". All of Blanches torment has now ended and she is taken to a mental institution. However, we may believe that Stella's is just beginning due to her "luxurious sobbing". The "swelling music of the 'Blue piano' and the muted trumpet" is heard and everything is back to how it was. This 'return to normality' encapsulated by Steve saying "The game is seven-card stud" and the curtain drawing. Joshua Sands Page 1 of 3 Dr. Peters ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the role of music and other sound effects in A Streetcar Named Desire

    3 star(s)

    The passage continues to describe a peaceful setting where summer seems to be creeping slowly and how people of different colours mingle amongst each other. This sense of tranquility is suddenly halted by the playing of a "blue Piano" simultaneously as the men come back for there bowling match.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Was Stanley Kowalski the reason for Blanche's downfall?

    3 star(s)

    extravagant lifestyle since the loss of the family home and believes he should receive some of this money, even though there isn't any really. Early on in the play we become aware of Blanche's class arrogance when she sets aside the black neighbour's kindness and of Eunice's company.

  1. How successfully has Williams introduced the main characters and ideas of A Streetcar named ...

    The theme of fate and death plays a large part in Blanche's character in particular. Blanche has come to live with her sister, running away from her previous life in which there could not be a happy end to find that in the end her fate is already destined and she can not escape from it.

  2. A Streetcar Named Desire - With which of the characters do you have the ...

    Blanche tries to be something she's not. She might feel that she did not make her ex-boyfriend happy that's why he went off with another man. Stanley wants to have a wife who will cook and clean, and Stella is just that.

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire

    Her decision to deny any knowledge of the Hotel Flamingo gives Stanley greater power. He is intimidating and strategic in his interrogation of Blanche and it is evident that she is not coping. He is ready to expose the truth about Blanche and his intention is to defeat her, 'I've

  2. The Analysis of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

    By having affairs with young men she longs her youthful innocence and revives Allen's memory. When she panics and feels remorse for Allen's death the Varsouviana Polka is heard in her mind. It is the polka tune to which Blanche and Allen were dancing before his suicide.

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

    Blanche suggests that they go to her rich friend Shep Huntleigh and ask him to fund some kind of shop. Stella does not accept the offer and the two go on to talk about Stanley. Stella tells Blanche she has seen him at his worst but Blanche says she saw him at his best, offering his animal force.

  2. How does Tennessee Williams dramatise the tension between reality and fantasy in 'A Streetcar ...

    When Blanche first arrives at Elysian fields, the stage directions inform us that 'Her delicate beauty must avoid strong light.' (p.5) Light is also present in the scene where Stanley rapes Blanche, The scene directions indicate that 'Lurid reflections appear on the walls around Blanche.

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