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

The Blanche/Stanley Conflict in Scenes I - IV of "A Streetcar Named Desire". What is the nature of the conflict between Stanley and Blanche, and how is it represented?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Blanche/Stanley Conflict in Scenes I - IV of "A Streetcar Named Desire" What is the nature of the conflict between Stanley and Blanche, and how is it represented? Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois, characters in a play by Tennessee Williams called "A Streetcar Named Desire", are brother and sister in law, as Stanley is married to Blanche's sister Stella. Almost from the beginning of the play, the reader is aware that there are indeed conflicts between the two of them. There are several reasons for this conflict, the first being one of class. Stanley Kowalski, as his name suggests, is an American of Polish extraction, whilst Blanche Dubois is an aging Southern debutante. They are at absolute opposite ends of the social spectrum in America - Blanche is representative of the past, and Stanley is very much the embodiment of modern, new America - appearing to see himself as some kind of social leveller, he mocks Blanche several times throughout the play for the way that she sees herself as better than him. They appear to almost immediately become locked in a struggle to be the highest in Stella's affections, and practically every scene that contains both Blanche and Stanley has conflict running throughout it, either in undertone, or blatantly. ...read more.

Middle

Stanley later deliberately ignores the request when he realises that Blanche has outwitted him during a discussion of what has happened to his wife's family home. After rifling through her personal possessions, he throws the news at Blanche, as a calculated move. Stella, her fertility and youth and the birth of their future contrasts sharply with Blanche's sensation of herself as drying out, fading away, losing her youth. The conflict soon deepens and becomes more than being about class and family. In scene three, we see Stanley becoming enraged when he perceives that he is not only losing Stella to Blanche, but that she is also beginning to 'make a move' on his oldest and closest friend Stanley, and so the conflict gains another strand, the struggle for Mitch's loyalty. The men are playing poker at Stanley and Stella's apartment, and Stanley refuses his wife's request that they end the game. The women retire to the bedroom to talk, and turn on a radio. Stanley shouts through that they should turn it off, and his friends disagree with him. Saying that it should stay on, they side with Stella and Blanche, and Stanley, angry, goes into the bedroom and turns it off. ...read more.

Conclusion

The women wait to speak, and when the train is at its loudest (grating, raucous, booming) Stanley enters the apartment unheard and unseen by the women, and listens to the tirade against him by Blanche. This technique, an intense form of dramatic irony, is used to brilliant effect, as the audience hears Blanche raving against Stanley - " he acts like an animal, has an animals habits - eats like one, talks like one, moves like one" - and realises that she has no idea that he is there, listening. The train is used once more, when Stanley exits the apartment under cover of the noise. After it is passes, he calls to Stella, she rushes to greet him and he embraces her in full view of Blanche, grinning triumphantly at her over Stella's shoulder. The lights fade, after a lingering brightness on the embracing man and wife, and the piano bar music is once again prominent - the victorious sound of drums and trumpet. So, in conclusion, the conflict is illustrated in many ways. Some obviously, through the use of language differences, sexuality, gender, loyalty - and some not so obvious; lighting, sounds, shadows. Together as a whole, the audience of the play is left in no doubt as to the strength of it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Tennessee Williams 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 University Degree Tennessee Williams essays

  1. Historical, Social and Cultural context of Tennessee Williams on 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

    The Second World War and the destructive political changes that followed, which led to America having an increased amount of power on the world seemed to pass Tennessee Williams by. ? He also appeared oblivious to the issue of gay rights, which was becoming less uncommonly talked about during his lifetime.

  2. Form and Structure in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    It effects Big Daddy the most for the obvious reason that's he's dying, but also because he believes he's come back from being scared of dying, and now believes he's fine. The last important flashback from Big Daddy is him looking back on his own life.

  1. To what extent is the play "A Streetcar Named Desire" the tragedy of Blanche?

    Blanche also dresses well, and is astonished at the standard to which Stella has married into, something that she persistently tells Stella on several occasions. First of all Stanley only suspects that Blanche considers him to be beneath her and her sister, he calls her "Dame Blanche" to his wife,

  2. It was 9am and the tarmac was already warm from the first glimpses of ...

    Many people have done good things and get forgotten a few months later; but people who do bad things don't! "I don't feel comfortable mate" whispered Michelle to Shaun "Yeah me neither, besides there's plenty of other places to go".

  1. Brick says that 'Mendacity is a system we live in. Liquor is one way ...

    He had already caught the main body of the argument, depicting how men of God are in "The System" themselves. This was Williams parading how every aspect of society was infiltrated by mendacity and evasions of truth. Furthermore, feminist issues are raised as to whether Maggie is 'making (Brick)

  2. Analysis of "No Ideas but in Things"

    What he is looking for is not, as one says, the p*****s-but precisely its absence . . ." (182). And yet what does the voyeur of "The Lonely Street" find? It is the girls who have the phalli of "pink sugar," while he, himself, has perhaps been castrated.

  1. Examine the relation between words and action in the stagecraft of Tennessee Williams

    The bed had previously contained Big Daddy's business partners and the former owners of the house, who were a gay, and who had died in the bed that sits intrusively between Maggie and Brick as a looming reminder. One could argue that Brick's radically altered behaviour, initiated by Skipper's memory,

  2. Is it true to say that women dominate men in Hobson's Choice? Why is ...

    I think that the female dominance is significant in the context of the play because although in the 1880s there was slight female dominance, professions and politics were closed to women. The women were expected to listen to and obey their fathers, husbands and fellow men.

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