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

The opening scene of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' prepares the audience well for what is to come in the play, as much as can be expected without giving the whole story away. It introduces all the main themes and characters - if only through other characters

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The opening scene of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' prepares the audience well for what is to come in the play, as much as can be expected without giving the whole story away. It introduces all the main themes and characters - if only through other characters' dialogue. Discuss the opening scene with specific references to the text. Tennessee Williams' 'A Streetcar Named Desire' was written in 1947 and is set in the Southern city of New Orleans. Williams' play deals with many themes - fantasy's inability to overcome reality; sexuality and the relationship between s*x and death; dependence on men; loneliness; opposing backgrounds; patriarchy and violence. We are introduced to all of these in the opening scene of the play and all are central to the events that unfold. The first scene is crucial to the play as a whole; it is significant as we are introduced to all the main characters and themes and, to an extent, this scene foreshadows the events that are to come at the end of the play. ...read more.

Middle

It is an urban scene, loud, bustling and busy, a place where people of the upper-class can marry people of lower classes, where fights get ugly but are forgotten the next day, and the everlasting bluesy notes of an old piano take the sting out of poverty for the citizens. In Scene One we meet Stanley Kowalski, the son of Polish immigrants, and his friend Mitch, two ordinary working class men who are dressed "roughly" in "blue denim work clothes". The first impression we get of Stanley is that he is full of l**t for life, heartiness and primitivism. He hurls a package of meat at his adoring wife Stella, "Catch!" This is seen as a s****l innuendo, and the action sets Eunice and a n***o woman into uncontrollable laughter. In hurling the meat at Stella, Stanley states the s****l proprietorship he holds over her, and Stella's delight in catching Stanley's meat signifies her s****l infatuation with him - this, in a nutshell, defines the s****l, passionate nature of their relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her appearance is "incongruous to the setting" of Elysian Fields, she is "daintily dressed" out of place in the busy, bustling New Orleans. Her delicate beauty "must avoid a strong light", and there is "something that suggests a moth" in her "uncertain manner" and her white clothes. The comparison of Blanche to a moth suggests that she is very fragile and delicate, that she is vulnerable and can easily be harmed. Blanche's arrival to Elysian Fields on the "streetcar named Desire" and then the "transfer to one called Cemeteries" symbolizes her life. Through this we are told that Blanche has lived her life governed by her desires for men, and it is hinted that this will lead her to "Cemeteries" and her eventual downfall - this prepares us for the ruin of Blanche, which will come later on in the play. Blanche is fragile and destitute, she is the picture of loneliness - she has no one but Stella in the world after she "lost" Belle Reve, their childhood home, after the deaths of the older generation of the DuBois family. She is destitute and seeks help from Stella, as she is her last chance. ...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 A Street Car Named Desire 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 A Street Car Named Desire essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    TO WHAT EXTENT CAN A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE BE CALLED A TRAGEDY?

    5 star(s)

    of stock characters, frequent romanticised scenarios and exaggerated emotions, and lavish sets (i.e. mise-en-sc�ne). Signi Falk maligns Williams for using such brashly stock characters in 'Streetcar', labelling him a careerist. However, there is undoubtedly too much psychological depth to many of the characters, Blanche in particular, and too much indecision

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How much is Desire a force for destruction in the play 'A Streetcar Named ...

    3 star(s)

    it is only due to Stanley's character that this all goes horribly wrong. Since he is so animalistic and prim�val, (as most of the characters in this play are described as being in some way), he allows his desire to take control, and destroy Blanche.

  1. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can Blanche Dubois be described as a tragic victim in A ...

    4 star(s)

    In scene 3 Stanley smacks Stella's thigh, showing his controlling and manipulative nature. It is through his aggressive actions that he is able to manipulate Blanche. Further evidence of Williams' skill can be found in the stage directions, which are unusually detailed.

  2. 'Cat on A Hot Tin Roof' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' are plays in ...

    Repeated in this play, is an impression of Williams' personal inadequacy, of being in an isolated vacuity. The 'laws of silence', are Brick's conditions that he has proposed to Maggie, of sexlessness and detachment. Only under these conditions has Brick agreed to live with his wife.

  1. How important are illusion and fantasy as themes in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

    This is represented by Williams in the "It's only a paper moon" song that Blanche sings. This song speaks of a make-believe world, which is phoney, but pleasurable, if everyone plays along. Illusion and fantasy also link in with another very important theme in the play, death and desire.

  2. A Streetcar Named Desire - scenes 2 and 3 reviewed.

    For example when he bellows back to Stanley. Mitch can adapt old world courtesy so immediately. As an audience we link this back to Blanche immediately. * Blanche tells Stella, 'That one seems- superior to the others.'- Here she is talking about Mitch. Because she asks questions about him we can see that he intrigues her.

  1. The six texts represented and compared here are Macbeth, A Streetcar Named Desire, 'Enter ...

    Women were very dependant on men for sustenance and self image, and their happiness depended upon male companionship. Dependence on men is common to both Stella and Blanche. Although Stella is depicted to the reader as a passive, gentle woman residing in a submissive role to her husband, Blanche is

  2. Tennessee Williams 1947 play A Street Car Named Desire is set in the bustling ...

    He doesn't vow to change his behavior. They make up through a passionate embrace. This use of stage directions indicates that words play as secondary role to their relationship. The bond they share is merely physical and not intellectual. However, Williams makes it clear that does not detract from the love they have for one and other.

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