This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

1356 words - 5 pages

In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, he evaluates Blanche’s struggle to accept reality. Williams brings to the attention of the audience that Blanche has psychological issues; therefore, she cannot decipher between fact and fiction, or is it her choice to deny reality? Blanche DuBois, Williams’ most famous Southern belle finally resolves a lifetime of psychological conflicts (Rusinko 2738). Blanche tries to live a life of both desire and decorum (Riddel 17), thus driving her to insanity. Sigmund Freud would characterize Blanche’s psychological problem as id v. ego and superego (Riddel 17). The id is the primitive and instinctive component of personality. The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one's parents and others (McLeod). Williams psychological approach to his characters is most evident in the character of Blanche DuBois.
Blanche is both a representative and victim of a tradition that taught her attractiveness, virtue, and gentility lead to happiness (Corrigan 56). The time period that Blanche grew up in forced her to think that she was to have a sense of poise and grace. She should never let anyone think that she was anything less than a lady. Blanche represents the Southern traditions; therefore, she was expected to be a woman of eloquence (Bigsby 45). However, once Blanche leaves Belle Reve her image is completely destroyed. Williams portrays Blanche as a Southern woman who cannot find herself or grip reality due to this illusion she has created. Blanche needs reassurance that she is beautiful to due her insecure nature brought on by the passing of her husband. She tries to keep reliving her younger years because she thinks that if she appears older no man will ever be able to have an interest in her. Blanche’s past at Belle Reve depicts her as a woman who is solely interested in not being alone and suffering the repercussions of her actions. Blanche does not do herself justice; she acts like a sexually immoral woman and far from a lady.
Blanche tries many things to cope with reality, all of which do not have good outcomes. Her reality consists of violence, theft, immorality, and bestiality, no wonder she tries her best to escape (Corrigan 55). Life has dealt her devastating blows, to which she has had to respond alone; her sister has offered no help (Adler 3625). Alcohol is her escape from reality and the truth (Riddel 26). She has an obsession with bathing in hopes that it will cleanse her from all of her sin (Riddel 26). She also has a fixation with lights; she does not want the room to be bright. She states that “dimness hides the signs of aging,” she cannot accept the fact that soon due to age no guy will love her (Corrigan 53). Also Stanley gets in her way; his world poses a threat to her illusion (Corrigan 53). Blanche practically throws herself at men because she wants to...

Find Another Essay On A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

1203 words - 5 pages A Streetcar named Desire was written by Tennessee Williams, during the restless years following World War II. The play was based on the life of a woman named Blanche Dubois. Blanche was a fragile and neurotic woman, desperate for a place to call her own. She had been exiled from her hometown Laurel, Mississippi after seducing a seventeen year old boy. After this incident, she decided to move to New Orleans with her sister Stella. She claimed

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

1566 words - 6 pages In Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Stella and Stanley Kowalski live in the heart of poor, urban New Orleans in a one-story flat very different from the prestigious home Stella came from. This prestige is alive and well inside Stella’s lady-like sister, Blanche Du Bois. Over the course of Blanche’s life, she has experienced many tragedies that deeply affected her, such as the death of her gay husband, the downward

"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

2176 words - 9 pages "desire". Tennessee uses a metaphor to represent her journey, "They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields!", the streetcars represent directly Blanche's journey and the journey that her other male relatives took with "desire" and then of "Cemeteries" which represents their death or downfall. The journey for Blanche ends at Elysian Fields, the Kowalski's

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

701 words - 3 pages Adversity can cause an individual to overcome their challenges and strengthen their identity, however, it can also have the opposite negative effect. Adversity can trigger an individual to lose their identity in their attempt to escape from their problems. In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, Blanche DuBois is unable to face adversity, which leads her to lose her individual identity during her attempt to escape reality

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

2331 words - 9 pages A Streetcar Named Desire From the beginning, the three main characters of Streetcar are in a state of tension. Williams establishes that the apartment is small and confining, the weather is hot and oppressive, and the characters have good reason to come into conflict. The South, old and new, is an important theme of the play. Blanche and her sister come from a dying world. The life and pretensions of their world are becoming a thing of

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

1691 words - 7 pages A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams MITCH: Lies, lies, inside and out, all lies. Referring to the two critical opinions, explore the extent to which the relationship between Mitch and Blanche is based on deception and self deception. Throughout Williams' play an unexpected relationship is developing before us. This is the one formed between Mitch and Blanche. Two very different characters who would appear to have nothing in

Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

2861 words - 11 pages Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams Tennessee Williams, an American playwright, has been known as the most prominent American southern dramatist. He won his first Pulitzer Prize with Streetcar Named Desire. In this play, Williams shows the need for belief in human value against the natural realistic world. He uses symbols to develop the characters and theme of illusion verses reality within Streetcar Named Desire

"Streetcar named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

1622 words - 6 pages The first scene I am looking at is Scene nine, in which Mitch confronts Blanche aboutthe lies she has been telling him regarding her past. It is clear that it was Blanche'schoice to tell the lies, so in that respect the following problems are her own fault.However, Williams may have aimed to look closely at Blanche's character to see whyshe lied, and by justifying herself, she appears a tragic self absorbed failure, not acynical manipulator

Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

1259 words - 5 pages Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams “Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama…the purest language of plays.” Once, quoted as having said this, Tennessee Williams has certainly used symbolism and colour extremely effectively in his play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. A moving story about fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her lapse into insanity, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ contains much symbolism and

Ethical Lessons in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

1488 words - 6 pages A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a play about a woman named Blanche Dubois who is in misplaced circumstances. Her life is lived through fantasies, the remembrance of her lost husband and the resentment that she feels for her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Various moral and ethical lessons arise in this play such as: Lying ultimately gets you nowhere, Abuse is never good, Treat people how you want to be treated, Stay true to

Dichotomies of "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

1571 words - 6 pages The Amazing Dichotomies of "A Streetcar Named Desire"Light and dark, kindness and cruelty, realism and fantasy, all of them dichotomies used by Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee Williams uses many dichotomies, clear cut divisions, to illustrate main points. The most prominent dichotomy is the sweet and fragile Blanche opposed to the cruel and savage Stanley. The play also highlights other dichotomies such as strong and

Similar Essays

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

1669 words - 7 pages of these men may have been from different time periods but they are the same when it comes to their attitudes towards leadership, treatment of women, and their way to confirm assumptions. In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire and William Shakespeare’s famous Tragedy Othello, Stanley and Othello sensitivity to their racial stereotypes encourage their strong leadership qualities to disprove the preconceived notions people have

"A Street Car Named Desire" By Tennessee Williams

2513 words - 10 pages In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams uses the combined effects of lighting, sound, costume and symbolism to influence and control the audience's response. The play is intentionally an emotive one. It evokes an emotional response from the audience that is not necessarily reasoned or logical. The response to Streetcar is generally a uniformed one. As emotional as it is, by the end of the play most of the audience feels the same way

"A Streetcar Named Desire" By Tennessee Williams

614 words - 2 pages Jim Harrison once said that "We must live with our loneliness and we must not destroy ourselves with our passion to escape our loneliness." Or in other words we all have the desire for attention and to know that we are loved, but there are more important priorities that come before these wants. In the play "A Streetcar named Desire" There are 2 characters that portray the truth in this quotation. Tennessee Williams Uses two different people in

A Streetcar Named Desire, By Tennessee Williams

1172 words - 5 pages Street Car Named Desire A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, has been called the best play ever written by an American. The geological setting of the play, New Orleans, creates a remarkably blended mood of decadence, nostalgia, and sensuality. The plot of the play comes about through the conflict between a man and his sister-in-law who comes to live at his house with he and his wife. Stanley Kowalski immediately