A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire -                                                        V.EVANS

1)Scene one creates an environment in which the reader should feel welcome; this is to be achieved by the impressions that the reader gets of the quarters. I see the quarter as being a ‘poor’ area in ‘decay’, which might have been a once prosperous area as the buildings are described as having ‘ornamented gables’ and ‘galleries’ which to me suggests that at the time of building the houses the area was much wealthier. The use of the word decay also suggests that there has been an aesthetic change for the worst, Williams describes the houses as being ‘mostly white frame, weathered grey’.

Despite the lack of money in the area, ‘Elysian Fields’ has a ‘warm’ sense of happiness and contentment about it, Williams actually uses the word warm in his stage directions to illustrate physical warmth of the area and the warmth of the people who live there. The people therefore are immediately portrayed as being hospitable and kind, and as it is the people who create the atmosphere of a place this helps us to feel the generally tender nature of ‘Elysian Fields’.

The people seem jovial in nature, which is seen through the way they joke and laugh, particularly the coloured woman. The characters have excesses of energy in the way they speak and move, which gives the reader the feeling that ‘Elysian Fields’ is a bright and active place, for example the way that Stanley ‘hollers’ at Stella on his return from work suggests that shouting in the street is common place here.

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We feel a sense of community through the way that Stella casually greets her neighbours on the steps, and by the three women: Eunice, the Coloured Woman and the Negro Woman chatting comfortably outside of their homes; the different races mentioned early in the play also show how cosmopolitan the quarter is. The tightness of the community is also shown physically through the immediacy of the inhabitant’s houses, EUNICE: ‘She’s got the downstairs here and I got the up’.

As Blanche arrives in the quarter the residents are nothing but helpful, Eunice immediately asks her, ‘What’s the matter ...

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