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

Discuss the role of music and other sound effects in A Streetcar Named Desire

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the role of music and other sound effects in 'A Streetcar Named Desire Often when in convocation with another person a generally meaningless comment can have a profound ability to offend someone more than a deliberately vulgar outburst; this is due to the tone in which the person delivers his remake. Tone as described in the "Oxford Dictionary" is 'the sound of a person's voice, expressing a feeling or mood,' and is an essential tool in the way people communicate with each other to express there feelings and experiences. In author "Tennessee Williams" 'A Street Car Named desire' a play about two sisters from the south living out there separate lives, meet again in New Orleans during a pivotal moment in each of there journeys; tone is a vital tool in expressing there emotional trials and tribulations within the book. As while reading the book it is not possible to hear the tones in which the characters use to express themselves, it is done through the stage directions. ...read more.


The tone of the speech is very much linked to the colour of the piano, intending the speech to portray a time of sorrow of Blanches life. The last and probably the most symbolic aspect the image of the "blue piano" withholds is the forthcoming of Stella and Stanley's new baby. The arrival of the baby mentioned in unison with the play of the "blue piano" foreshadows that the birth or even just the babies being with strike up conflict within the characters in the book and may lead to a rift in there relationships. Another musical effect portraying tone is the song of the Polka. The song features at the end scene one during a conversation where Blanche and Stanly were flirting. The polka song is meant to symbolize the death of Blanche's husband; ambiguously the line "The music of the polka rises up, faint in the distance" refers to her husband in a literal sense, as to Blanche, her husbands memory is faint in the distance, from a time long past, but still it faintly lives on within her. ...read more.


This is a pivotal moment within the opening scenes for it reveals three things. Firstly that Stella is uncomfortable with her husbands over eagerness to pursue issues that do not relate to him. This makes her insecure for it means she is unable to with hold her own secrets, for if Stanly new she held them he would interrogate her until she told him or worse. The is related to the first, in that Stella feels she has no control over her life for she is forced to do what Stanly wants, which is portrayed in that he does not listen to what Stella want and interrogates Blanche; which against Stella wishes. Thirdly Stella feels Stanly is far to curious of Blanche and feels slightly threatened by her sister as she feels Blanche may steal Stanley away from her. A Streetcar Named Desire is a play driven upon an emotional rollercoaster colliding with opposing personalities ensuring for furious confrontations. Tennessee Williams use of stage directions to provoke the tone of the characters allows for vivid imagery and powerfully tense moments. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a good essay which shows both knowledge of the text and a number of different points in relation to sound and stage direction. More quotes were needed. With better written mechanics and punctuation, it would have achieved 4 stars. ***

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 03/04/2012

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay responds well to the task. There is a clear appreciation of the significance of music and sound effects in A Streetcar Named Desire, and drama in general. I was slightly confused as to why they spoke of the ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay responds well to the task. There is a clear appreciation of the significance of music and sound effects in A Streetcar Named Desire, and drama in general. I was slightly confused as to why they spoke of the stage directions and music enhancing the book when reading, as this shows a misinterpretation of the context. This essay picks up on the main points, but sometimes the analysis is basic. There needed to be some appreciation of dramatic effect on stage, and how the audience respond when they hear the music.

Level of analysis

The analysis in this essay is sound, and shows potential at times. When writing about music in A Streetcar Named Desire, it is vital you talk about the blue piano. This essay picks up on this recurring situation, ably explaining how it is linked to Blanche's tragedy. Words such as "foreshadow" are used well, but I just feel this paragraph could've been more sophisticated if it spoke of the blue piano as a motif and then explained why Williams uses this. If this essay had drawn about the effectiveness of the blue piano in contextualising Blanche's tragedy to the audience, this would've gained credit for example. I know it's difficult to analyse language and imagery when the essay is asking specifically about music, but it must be present in a GCSE essay if you want to gain the top marks. If I were answering this question, I would be looking at how Blanche's speech alters when the blue piano is playing, showing how the music symbolises her loss of control evident through her language. What I particularly liked in this essay was the awareness of music being used in pivotal moments, showing how music is used to shape the structure of the play. There needed to be more quotes in the last paragraph detailing this to give some evidence, however.

Quality of writing

This essay has a solid structure, having a clear introduction defining music and its significance. I liked this approach as it allows for a focused argument which engages with the question. The conclusion is short, but weaves together the previous points to come to a justified judgement. There are numerous slips in spelling, punctuation and grammar, however. Errors such as "thought" instead of through, and "Stanly" instead of Stanley simply detract from any quality analysis in an essay. A simple proof read can make an essay appear much more sophisticated and in control as errors are ironed out.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by groat 05/04/2012

Read less
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 GCSE A Streetcar Named Desire essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the role of Mitch in 'street car named desire' Tennessee Williams first introduces ...

    3 star(s)

    In scene six, she goes and starts 'lighting a candle' and says that 'we are going to pretend that we are sitting in a little artist caf� ...'.this shows her hopes of romance and 'wanting to create' joy of life.

  2. Holes - How did Stanley's character change and develop as the story progresses?

    However, later in the story the truth is that he can't be considered a real thief, as all he does is pick up the shoes and he runs in the excitement of showing the shoes to his father. When he first comes to the camp he is a person who

  1. Compare the way in which Blanche and Stella are portrayed in scenes one-four of ...

    This is further emphasises by the fact that after requesting a drink form Stella she immediately voices that she isn't a drunk without the information being requested. Another key difference between Blanch and Stella is that they represent two completely different types of values, Blanche represents the values of the

  2. The Role of the Past in a Streetcar Named Desire

    Tennessee Williams makes it clear that one cannot escape genetic inheritance because at the end, it all comes back. Another aspect of Blanche is also introduced to the audience in Scene 1, adding to her characterization: alcoholism. Blanche suffers from delirium tremens as she is drinking from Stanley's whisky bottle in page 120.

  1. The relationships between men and women in 'A Street Car Named Desire'.

    Although this behaviour is carried out in mock playfulness, Stanley is really reminding Stella just who is in charge and she accepts this by not retaliating only complaining when he cannot hear by saying to Blanche 'I hate when he does that.'

  2. How is tension conveyed between Stella and Blanche in Scene 1 of A street ...

    Reasons for this could be that Stella doesn't have the opportunity to ask, doesn't want to intrude and ask an embarrassing question or simply just doesn't think about asking. Blanche also tells Stella, 'you're just as plump as a little partridge!

  1. The Analysis of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

    She frequently uses her bodily charms, in spite of her fading youth, to achieve admiration and appreciation. Eventually, she wants to tame this male beast and to force him to acknowledge her superiority, the same as Stanley wishes. This is the only similarity in their character; they both have wrong

  2. How Much Sympathy Does the Audience Feel for Blanche at the End of the ...

    For example, Blanche asks Stella to 'stand up', when Stella does not do this, Blanches becomes cross and responds by asking 'You hear me? I said stand up!'. Due to this dictatorship, I feel sympathy for Stella. In scene one we are given a slight hint of Blanches past, a

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