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

Comparative Essay: Setting in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Hedda Gabler'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Setting can often reflect the underlying ideas in a play. In the light of this statement, consider the importance and use of setting in 'Hedda Gabler' and 'A Streetcar named Desire' Setting, with all its different uses, is essential in revealing the imprisonment of protagonists and the values of a society in 'Hedda Gabler' by Henrik Ibsen and 'A Streetcar named Desire' by Tennessee Williams. Both playwrights employ the use of setting in their plays to help reveal underlying ideas, giving the audience an insight to their respective society and the playwright's purpose of showing how societies are responsible for imprisoning their own people. Williams displays the fortes and the flaws in 1940s New Orleans with his selection of setting. The setting in 'A Streetcar named Desire' reveals New Orleans' carefree and come-and-go attitude. However, the setting also surfaces the city's lack of compassion. Ibsen uses the setting to display the entrapment enforced on the protagonist. The constant images of imprisonment such as the window are a constant but subtle reminder to the audience that Hedda Gabler is imprisoned by her 19th Norwegian, sexist and propriety orientated society; to which she can have no input to decide her future. The setting used by both playwrights is essential in revealing the imprisonment of their protagonists, the values of a society in their respective plays as the set reveals the context of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Most of all, women are subjugated. This setting is essential in revealing the Hedda's captivity in her society as it puts what she says and interacts with in context, allowing the audience to understand the gravity of her tragic situation. As Hedda and John Brack are talking, Hedda becomes very bitter about her obviously dull life. Brack starts to frustrate her with his hopeful and wishful thinking about her future, to which she eventually replies while standing 'over by the glass door' and 'looking out'; 'I've only got a gift for one thing in the world........ For boring myself to death. She realises that in her society she has only two purposes; to marry and to have children. It is clear that she realises this because she knows how boring her life is and she doesn't do thing about it. It becomes clear to the audience that Hedda is trapped by her own society in that it won't accept her as a man would be. She knows that there is fun and enjoyment to be had. One would say she can see it thought the 'glass door'. But this, again, is a barrier for her that she can't get past. This is what makes Hedda Gabler such a tragic tale; she knows what independence and enjoyment can be had outside the walls of her house (which she never leaves in the entirety of the play), but she cannot escape them. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is very confronting for the audience because if an average woman in 1940s New Orleans can't even show compassion towards her sister and only family left in the world, then who will. In Both plays, this lack of compassion could be the clincher that led to the fate of both protagonists. All Blanch and Hedda ever wanted was just to fit into their respective societies. But the setting didn't allow them to do so. The setting is ultimately fundamental in revealing the entrapment enforced on both protagonists as the characters representing the setting are able to show the audience the behaviour of their societies; which have deficits in levels of compassion. The setting used by both playwrights is essential in revealing the imprisonment of their protagonists, the values of a society in their respective plays as the set reveals the context of the play. Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire are similar in a way as their respective settings reveal the lack of concern and empathy for their respective societies; this deficiency in sympathy towards the protagonists; Hedda and Blanche ultimately leads to their tragic fates. However, the plays are different in that Blanche's imprisonment in 1940s New Orleans is presented by her incongruity to the setting and New Orleans' care-free attitude. Whereas Hedda is imprisoned in 19th century Norway by the social ranked, sexist and proprietary orientated society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aaron Snibson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Macbeth Critical Response Essay

    4 star(s)

    However, being compelled to do terrifying acts against their own conscience also makes them vulnerable to their ensuing guilt, and this guilt begins to haunt and destroy them and eventually leads to their demise. This is when Shakespeare's symbolism of guilt as blood becomes important for the development of his theme.

  2. The short story Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown is about a teenage girl named ...

    when the grandmother treated Lin's mother horrible in her childhood. But maybe she isn't afraid of her parents' reaction on Todd, but instead Todd's reaction to her parents.

  1. Of Mice and Men Analytical Essay

    As a woman in the Great Depression, she had very little power. The only security she gained was by marrying Curley and, with that action, she allowed him to take full control over her. Her dream was to have a career in the movies.

  2. "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and "Fly Away Peter" Comparative Essay

    Pornoy dies "gored in the jugular vein by a bull" - all of which are accepted by the town matter-of-factly. The murder of Santiago is brutal as his "liver was almost sliced in pieces", his "pancreas [was] destroyed" and there were "perforations in the transverse colon and...

  1. Engligh Extended Essay on Egdgar Allen Poe

    He uses this image to explain that reality is not fixed but has a flowing changing quality to it that can "creep through [his] fingers". Comparing real life to sand and waves also shows its instability and fluctuation further linking them to dreams which are known throughout to fluctuate and change.

  2. EXtended Essay - Portuguese

    Francisco Adam que, segundo a aut�psia, tinha subst�ncias il�citas no organismo, aquando do acidente mortal. As boas novas, relativamente a s�rie, prendem-se com os epis�dios, nos quais as personagens eram afectadas por um v�rus desconhecido e mortal. Segundo parece, alguns dos jovens espectadores da s�rie t�m aparecido nos hospitais com sintomas semelhantes.

  1. Free essay

    Argumentative Essay - discuss the new rear seat belt law intoduced in Malaysia

    To him, the rear seat belt ruling is a burden to those poor families that have more than 3 kids and cannot afford to buy a bigger car. It is quite impossible for all of them to buckle up. In addition, the fine is really too high and this ruling

  2. Media Comparative Essay - comparing two news articles

    but this way author has the full control over the passage he has written. In the sentence ?The man just shook his head? it sounds like the only respond the man was able to give was shaking of his head, but in reality he could have done it while smiling

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