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

aspects of tension in steetcar named desire

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What aspect of tension do you find in A Streetcar named desire Scene One? In the first scene of a Streetcar named Desire, the audience learns about the three main characters through stage directions and their interactions with other characters. Williams also gives his audience an insights into the three main themes: death and madness, desire and fate, which later dominates the play: The motif of light during scene one reinforces and develops the themes with the main character: Blanche. A Streetcar Named Desire opens into a friendly and relaxed scene as people of different ethnicity are mingling with each other. New Orleans differed from other states in Southern cities as it disregarded social distinctions and the state was originally a Catholic state whereas, most southern states were Protestant. At the end of the Second World War, America was changing and many people were coming to America in order to provide themselves and their family with a better way of life. Stanley - a young Polish man - symbolises the changing face of America throughout the play. Suddenly, the audience is thrust into a brutal, vicious set as Stanley heaves a package of meat at his wife, Stella. This depicts a some-what s******y -fuelled alliance within Blanche and Stanley's relationship. Through Stella and Stanley's short, snappy conversation the audience can learn that this couple are clearly different. ...read more.

Middle

Although not lengthy, the audience learns a lot about Blanche's and Stella's relationship during scene one. Blanche is the typical "bossy big sister" and although Stella is an adult, Blanche still patronises her. Interestingly, during scene one Blanche refers to Stella as "a precious lamb" and "a cherub". This is overtly symbolic in the way that Blanche still sees her younger sister: pure and innocent. Blanche's choice of language used to describe her sister also contrasts with her own past and current lifestyle. Blanche controls the conversation between her and Stella during scene one therefore, we do not learn a great deal about Stella's character other than she is submissive toward Blanche (she turns the light off for Blanche and stands at her command). The audience soon learns that Blanche craves constant appraisal and compliments from people in regards to her looks this is a pathos as Blanche fears becoming old and loosing her looks. This may also be another reason why she dislikes and tries to avoids being seen in direct light. Blanche's derogatory comments and neurotic state build upon the current tension and make her and Stella's conversation very uncomfortable. Blanche's reference to Stanley as a "Polack" builds on the racial boundaries she established earlier on in the play. When Blanche tells Stella she has brought clothes to see all her "lovely" friends in, Stella tells Blanche that they're not "her" friends but, Stanley's friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

The encounter of the world of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski in scene one is just a prelude to the intensified conflicts and tensions they later deal with. Consequently, I believe there are various aspects of tension in the opening scene of A Streetcar Named Desire. Cleverly, Williams initially introduces these tensions as they contribute to the main themes of the play. The s****l tensions, social class division and clashes of personality are all factors in how people are treated during the course of the play. The s****l tensions and passions between Stella and Stanley soon cloud Stella's judgement of what Stanley is really like. The social class divisions Blanche creates also builds an arrogant and ignorant air about her to the extent that Stanley intends to mentally ruin Blanche. The imbalance of each character's personalities and traits finally lead to their fate. Stella's disbelief of Blanche due to her passionate love for Stanley leads to the loss of her sister to a mental hospital. Blanche's previous immoral reputation mixed with her own insecurities finally have placed into a mental asylum and therefore expelled from society . Lastly, Stanley a working-class Polish immigrant has nothing to loose from the start of the play and throughout the course of the play Stanley's indeed looses nothing. Instead, he gains self-confidence and self-reassurance and a child through expressing his male dominancy, s******y, with both Stella and Blanche. ?? ?? ?? ?? Carmella Hollett English AS Level ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison 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 AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    They suggest that metafiction display, "a self-reflexivity prompted by the author's awareness of the theory underlying the construction of fictional works," without dividing contemporary metafiction from older works containing similar self-reflective techniques (Waugh 2). Spectrum of Metafictional Technique Further individuating the differences between metafictional characteristics present in post-modern fiction becomes

  2. Women in Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters

    Sylvia Plath like Lucy and Blanche also are presented with death within the novel, Sylvia could be seen to have the biggest downfall of all three of the characters, it is not only physical but also a mental problem. Hughes talks of his and Sylvia Plath life journeys through his

  1. Compare the opening pages of The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoos ...

    This delineates that Esther is unable to express herself; moreover, Plath's use of this oxymoron shows how Esther is on her path to being s******y, physically and emotionally bruised by the predicaments that she encounters. This is forecasted in the opening pages of the novel where Esther contemplates about what

  2. Comparison between The Tell-tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and Misery by Stephen King.

    He must leave everything the way it was to avoid suspicion from Annie, his kidnapper. However his luck doesn't seem to be doing him any favours whilst Annie pulls up the driveway. His first problem was getting into the living room; the wheelchair was a very tight fit.

  1. The Times, they are a'changin. Views of women in A Streetcar Named Desire, The ...

    Her request, "you'd better give me some money," highlights traditional feminine dependency through the syntactical second person pronouns "you" and "money". In a way that reproduces the stereotype of feminine absuridity, Stella reacts to Stanley's frequent references to legal affairs with the informal idiom, "My head is swimming!"

  2. Compare and contrast American playwrights presentation of masculinity in Death of a Salesman, Whos ...

    Even more so Linda is used to present masculinity. The representation of female characters in ?Death Of A Salesman? is often stereotypical and inferior. Linda is shown as a typical house wife who always tries to encourage, sooth and cover up for her husband, w***y, no matter how rude or unreasonable his actions are.

  1. How do the writers present sexuality and gender in Tales Of Ovid, Streetcar Named ...

    There is, indeed, a real sense in which Williams is a product of his work. When he began to write he was plain Tom. The invention of 'Tennessee' was not merely coterminous with the elaboration of theatrical fictions; it was of a piece with it.

  2. History is a kind of story-telling. Compare and contrast the ways in which Friel ...

    In ?A Streetcar Named Desire? Blanche also seeks to revise her past and hide the reality of what really happened. Blanche lives in a fantastical world under an illusion she has created, stating ?I don?t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth?, suggesting she presents her

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