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How and to what extent have writers shown pervasive use of the past in 2-3 plays?

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Introduction

How and to what extent have writers shown pervasive use of the past in 2-3 plays? In plays, use of the past is used by writers to show the importance of past events in order to get connection of present and what the pervasive past caused in different character's life and how it influenced them. This use of the past is best shown in 'Street Car Named Desire' where Blanch past has affect her present life and I can go as much further as to say it consumed her. Also, the same situation and influence of the past is use in 'The Cherry Orchard' and in 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. On those play I am going to answer above question. Anton Chekhov in 'The Cherry Orchard' uses the pervasive use of the past throughout the whole play. The orchard in itself is a monolithic, beautiful relic of the past, and it thus comes to symbolise the past, where the past can be either Ranevsky's individual past or Russia's national history. ...read more.

Middle

When she sees Trofimov, she cannot hep remembering that her son's drowning and is in grief. She is drawn to the past and cannot forget, even though 'If only I could take this heavy stone from my breast and shoulders, if I could forget my past'. All the characters think, talk and ponder about the past through the play, as if, on one hand they want to deal with the past, forgot and move on; but on the other hand they do not or cannot forget the valuable lesson they had in the past. Oscar Wild in 'The Importance of Being Ernest' uses the pervasive use of the past throughout the play. However, not that clear picture of it as in 'The Cherry Orchard', as Wild hides it and only at the end of the play we can see the pervasive use of the past and how the life's of characters were influenced by it, and they did not even realise it. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Stanley asks her about Belle Reeve and where did she get all the expensive clothes from, she refuses to answer and tries to led him in a blind corner as she knows that Stanley will not be feeling sorry for her and does not really care about her feelings. Blanch is a character which Williams made only for the purpose of the past. None of the other characters talk about their past, they are mainly constructed to be focused on the present, not like Blanch, who is keeps holding on to the past. The pervasive use of the past in the play creates drama not only in Blanch character but also makes the character more interesting and audience is willing to see and wonder what will happen next, therefore it makes the play exciting and appealing. In all three plays writers use this effect to create a dramatic tension of their past throughout the whole play. Audience see how unknown is the past of the characters and what effect it has on them. ...read more.

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