A Streetcar Named Desire - scenes 2 and 3 reviewed.

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Scene 2

  • Blanche is not in this scene but we are constantly reminded of her through her singing.- this scene has a lot to do with the loss of Belle Reve.
  • 'Blanche is bathing' i.e. she is washing off her dirtiness/ her sins from the past.
  • 'Stella jumps up and kisses him which he accepts with lordly composure. Stanley is the great lord. He is king of the territory.

  • Stella; 'I'm taking Blanche is Galatoires'- This is French and refined.
  • Stanley; 'How about my supper, huh? I'm not going to no Galatoire's for supper!' This line shows that Stanley is not used to Stella going out.
  • Stella; 'I put you a cold plate on ice' – salad's and meat, i.e. basic foods.
  • Stella; 'you better give me some money'- Stella is dependant on him. This is another thing stacking up against Blanche. She needs him in materialistic stage , he needs her in emotional. There is a difference.
  • Stella; 'Oh it had to be-sacrificed or something.' This shows that Blanche does not interest her.
  • Stella; 'be sure to say something nice about her appearance. And, oh! Don't mention the baby.' From this we can see that Stella is aware of Blanche's fragility. However Stanley ignores the advice about the baby and uses it as a weapon. Stella wanted to tell her sister about the baby in her own time for she is barren old alone and single.
  • Here the role changes and Blanche is in control.
  • Stella; 'And try to understand her and be nice to her, Stan' Here the roles have obviously changed for Stella is giving orders to Stan for a change.
  • Blanche [singing in the bathroom]

                   'From the land of the sky blue water,

                'They brought a captive maid!'

Here Blanche resonates that she will be a captive maid and that without  realising already is.

  • Stella; 'and admire her dress and tell her she's looking wonderful. That's important with Blanche. Her little weakness! This shows that Blanche needs to feel special.
  • Stanley; 'Yeah, I get the idea.' Stanley is bored. We sympathise with Stanley because there is another person in his territory.
  • Stanley; 'Now let's skip back a little to where you said the country place was disposed of.'- shows that he is materialistic.
  • Stanley; 'Have you ever heard of the Napoleonic code'- By Stanley repeating one known fact, you realise that he knows very little about the Napoleonic code. Showing us that a little knowledge with Stanley goes a long way. Stanley is basically worried about getting money from the place.
  • Stanley; 'And I don't like to be swindled'- He is gangster, not about the family. He is trying to be threatening- His brutishness comes out.
  • Stanley is a basic uneducated man. He is limited in what he needs to know.- He was first intrigued by her aristocratic worth.
  • Stanley; 'Then where's the money if the place was sold?- Shows is desperation.
  • [ He stalks into bedroom, and she follows him.] – animalistic. This is very animal for an animal stalks . This shows that she is not strong. She is always following that's why she becomes the background.
  • [ He pulls open the wardrobe trunk standing in middle of room and jerks out an armful of dresses]- invasion. Stanley is suspicious of Blanche.
  • Stanley; 'Open your eyes to this stuff! You think she got them out of a teacher's pay? This phrase shows her ignorance.
  • Stanley; 'Where are your white fox-pieces. Here Stanley is comparing Stella to Blanche, i.e. Stella's new life to old/new Blanche's.
  • Stella; 'Those are inexpensive summer furs that Blanche has had a long time.' – Stella attempts to defend Blanche. Shows that Hollywood and all the jewellery i.e. all that glitters isn't gold.  Therefore things that look good are not always good. She looks good but she isn't good.
  • Stanley; 'I got an acquaintance' this is an impersonal word. 'who deals in this sort of merchandise'- he is trying to scare Stella making her nervous to bring her back to his side.
  • Stanley is so limited so basic so funny.
  • Stanley; 'What is this sister of yours, a deep-sea diver who brings up sunken treasures.' He Stanley is being sarcastic. He is funny- he is amusing without trying to be. Till this point he is  making Stella jealous, out of ignorance.
  • Stanley; 'Where are your pearls and gold bracelets?'- question implying that Blanche is stealing and also making her feel that she has nothing. Also touches on how glamorous Blanche is being. Covering herself up making herself something she is not on the outside. 
  • Stella; 'Shhhh! Be still, Stanley!'- She is still defending Blanche- she does not like what he is implying.
  • Stanley; 'What's rhinestone?'- he is so dumb!!!
  • Stanley; 'I have an acquaintance that works in a jewellery store.' He always has an acquaintance, shady character.
  • Stanley; 'Here's your plantation, or what was left of it, here!'- accusing, he is being suspicious accusing, feeling cheated.
  • [He kicks the trunk partly closed and sits on the kitchen table]-This is yet again animalistic unrefined behaviour.
  • Stanley; 'The Kowalski’s and the Dubois have different notions.' Here Stanley is splitting up the Dubois’s who have olden ways and he Kowalski’s who have modern ways. He is claiming that the new world has higher morals. He is making her chose between Blanche and himself.
  • Stella replies [angrily]- 'Indeed they have, thank heavens'- This is because she is proud to be a Dubois.
  • We again see that Stella is partly loyal to her family when she tells Stanley, 'Are you going to stay her and insult her?'.
  • [Blanche comes out of the bathroom in a red satin robe]- This shows her hidden provocative side. This is her colour within that she always tries to hide with white.
  • Blanche; 'Hello, Stanley! Here I am, all freshly bathed and scented, and feeling like a new human being!' Here Blanche is cleaning herself again. She is getting purified.
  • To this comment Stanley just [lights a cigarette] showing that he doesn’t care.
  • Blanche;[drawing the curtains at the window]- she is shutting the light out; 'Excuse me while I slip on my pretty new dress!!' Here Blanche speaks in a seductive tone. The only relation Blanche has with men is flirting-old world.
  • Stanley to this replies; 'Go right ahead , Blanche.' Here we see Stanley assert his power for he stays in this territory.
  • Blanche is bringing her past into present and it will destroy her future.
  • Blanche; 'I understand there's to be a little card party to which we ladies are cordially not invited.' Blanche colours the poker game by calling it a little card party.
  • Blanche; [throws off her robe and slips into a flowered print dress]- The dress is very feminine. Blanche makes a sexual move, sexually teasing Stanley.
  • Blanche; 'You may enter!' Here we see a power shift territory.
  • Blanche; 'You men with your big clumsy fingers. May I have a drag on your cig?’ - The big clumsy fingers are  masculine and quite primitive.
  • To this Stanley replies, 'Have one for yourself.'- Here there is no sharing of the cigarette. Stanley is basic , unrefined and she is refined.
  • He has bold primary colours e.g. bowling clothes when he enters.
  • Blanche; 'You're simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side.' This is a good quote for Stanley.
  • Blanche;' Mr Kowalski, let us proceed without anymore double talk. I'm ready to answer all your questions. I've nothing to hide.' Blanche is ready to get down to business. She double-talks a lot and she is ironic when she says she has nothing to hide because she has everything to hide about herself.
  • Stanley; There is such a thing in this state of Louisiana as the Napoleonic code, according to which whatever belongs to my wife is also mine- and vice versa.'- Stanley again uses the words Napoleonic code. He hasn't moved on.
  • Blanche; 'My, but you have an impressive judicial air.'- Here Blanche mocks him.
  • [She sprays herself with her atomizer; then playfully sprays him with it. He seizes the atomizer and slams it down on the dresser.]- She is trying to own him by marking him. This is an animalistic thing , i.e. to mark somebody.
  • Blanche; 'What's in the back of that little boy's mind of yours?'- This phrase is part of her being coquettish and playful in order to flirt with him.
  • Stanley invades her privacy by touching her letters etc and later by entering her.
  • Blanche; 'Now that you've touched them I'll burn them!'- This scene moves from flirtation to confrontation so does the scene when he rapes her.
  • Blanche; 'I hurt him the way you would like to hurt me, but you can't. I'm not young and vulnerable any more.' This is ironic because he does hurt her. There are also a lot of references to the decay that time brings. She can see the danger.
  • Blanche; 'Everyone has something he won't let others touch because of their- intimate nature.... ' This prefigures the rape.
  • When Blanche puts on [a pair of glasses] she gets businesslike.
  • Blanche's family brought upon their own downfall for bit by bit the men in their family eroded away their inheritance spending unwisely , exchanging their land for 'epic fortifications'. Till finally all that was left is 'twenty acres of ground' and 'the house' 'including the graveyard to  which now all but Stella and I have retreated'. Here Blanche talks of her family going backwards and backwards. It is almost war like. For example if you are fighting war and you loose you retreat.
  • Blanche tells Stanley; 'Here all of them are, all papers! I hereby endow you with them! Take them, pursue them- commit them to memory, even! I think it's wonderfully fitting that Belle Reve should finally be this bunch of old papers in your big capable hands!'-Gone from big clumsy to big capable  hands. This modern man cannot button a shirt , but he  can deal with money. This is an old verse new contrast.
  • Stanley; 'You see under the Napoleonic code '- Stanley yet again repeats this. ‘a man has to take an interest in his wife's affairs- especially now that she's going to have a baby!' Here there is a power shift. Blanche is barren and sterile, just like the old world didn't reproduce. However, Stella, though Stanley is fruitful.
  • The 'blue piano' plays turning the  scene back to the modern world.
  • Stella has managed to adapt into the new world. Therefore she will survive. Stella is going to have a baby that will perpetuate Stanley's world.
  • Blanche; 'But maybe he's what we need to mix our blood now that we've lost Belle Reve and have to go on without Belle Reve to protect us.'
  • The vendor shows the danger . 'Red hots! Red Hots!'- This is a subtle warning. It builds the atmosphere. It is all modern, she's trapped trying to hold on to the old.
  • Blanche; 'which way do we-go now-Stella?'- She is asking whether they go old or new. This shows Blanche's dependency on Stella.
  • The two characters, Blanche and Stanley are symbolic of America. They represent the new lack of refinement and the educated old.
  • [Then the 'blue piano' and the hot trumpet sound louder.]- This represents the new world. The life on the streets. This is more Stanley's sound. It is a dominating sound. It is hot and powerful.        
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                                                SCENE 3

* [There is a picture of Van Gogh's] - He suffered from insanity. The picture hanging on their wall is a very well known picture. It has animals it dogs playing poker, therefore it relates to what is happening in the book.

* There are talks of the 'yellow linoleum of the kitchen table,' 'vivid green glass shade', 'coloured shirts', 'solid blues'. All of these 'primary colours.' The primary colours are compared to Stanley. This shows this scene has got Stanley's stamp into which Blanche will walk in with her delicate colours.

* Mitch however is wearing  'a ...

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