A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression Of Women In The 20th Century

1493 words - 6 pages

A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century.
Feminist critics, are people who agree to the idea that gender differences are culturally determined, and not born with it, interpret literature as a record of male dominance; particularly the repression by men. The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams shows the attitudes of men who impose their will on women and try to convince them of their inferiority. the way they interact with women, discuss them, look at them, talk to them, use and abuse them. Williams highlights this gender struggle to represent the continual fight for supremacy on the one hand - and equality on the other - in the home between men and women and in the country between the Old south and the New America. Williams uses symbolism and characterization to show how women in 20th century were still being repressed by mean and did not had their own place in society, which leads to women not having freedom of doing and saying what they wish.
Tennessee Williams different characters in the play to bring out the theme of gender stereotyping against women. The main women portrayed in this light in the play are Stella and Blanche DuBois. The main protagonist of the play Blanche DuBois is portrayed in a pitiful light and the audience is able to see gender stereotyping through her and Stella through her actions and speech. The themes connected to these characters and gender stereotyping are the inability to separate reality from fantasy, fear of death, sensual desire and dependence on men. “Please don’t get up. ‘Nobody’s going to get up, so don’t be worried” (Scene 3, page 50). This characterizes Blanche as someone who desires is to be admired, loved and respected. She is proud yet emotionally fragile, in part because she has lost everything, but also because of her regretful past. Blanche was brought up in a household where women were treated with respect and manners, which is why she can't stand a vulgar remark or a vulgar action. Blanche isn’t very fond of men that repress women the way Stanley represses her sister. She believes that women should be treated with love and respect. “ I said I am not in anything that I have a desire to get out of” (Scene 4, page 74). Stella, who is Blanche’s sister, is the mediating point between Blanche and Stanley. Stella has made a new life for herself in New Orleans and is madly in love with her husband Stanley - their idyllic relationship is steeped in physical passion. Stella is forthright and unapologetic about the nature of her relationship with her husband, and although she loves her sister, she is pragmatic and refuses to let anything come between her and Stanley. Williams shows the males in the play being the ones who act aggressive, vocal and dominant in the play. Aggressive as it is linked to Stanley’s conduct of Stella and him being the dominant partner in the relationship. “There is the sound of a blow. Stella cries out” (Scene 3, page 63). Stanley...

Find Another Essay On A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century

A Streetcar named Desire and The Awakening

1740 words - 7 pages suicide of her husband. She arrives from Laurel, Mississippi as a former high school English teacher to stay with her younger, submissive sister, Stella, and volatile, abusive brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. For the use of symbolism within his play, Williams introduces symbols throughout. In the first scene, Blanche describes to her neighbor her desired journey to begin a new life: “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then

The Tragic Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

2088 words - 8 pages Tennessee Williams has become one of the best known literary figures on the American Scene and also one of the most controversial. A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play opened on Broadway on December 3,1947, and closed on December 17, 1949, in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. While recognizing his compassion for frustrated and sensitive persons trapped in a highly competitive, commercial world, question whether he has not sacrificed his talent

The Tragic Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

2222 words - 9 pages “Tragic characters are “efficient” only in courting, suffering and encompassing their own destruction.” (Gassner 463). Fitting Gassner’s definition of a tragic character, Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire caustically leads herself to her own downfall. In the beginning of the play, Blanche DuBois, a “belle of the old South” (Krutch 40), finds herself at the footsteps of her sister and brother-in-law’s shabby

The Character Blanche Dubois In A Streetcar Named Desire

1437 words - 6 pages In “A Streetcar Named Desire”, the main character Blanche Dubois, displays a behavior similar to that of paranoia. The question that needs to be answered is why. Blanche is a character that has turned to many factors to ease her mental pain. Blanch uses denial as a coping mechanism which eventually causes her to have fears of abandonment and pressure from past conflicts. Denial is one of the ways that has helped Blanche deal with her stress

The Raw Power of A Streetcar Named Desire

2098 words - 8 pages The Raw Power of A Streetcar Named Desire         Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire contains more within it's characters, situations, and story than appears on its surface. As in many of Williams's plays, there is much use of symbolism and interesting characters in order to draw in and involve the audience.  The plot of A Streetcar Named Desire alone does not captivate the audience.  It is Williams's

A Streetcar Named Desire - The Importance of Scene 6

1181 words - 5 pages resort to prostitution and have some financial and emotional support from Mitch. Blanche recognises sensitivity in a man and we mustn't forget that in scene three she refers to Mitch as: "That one seems-superior to the others."   However a more distinctive element of scene 6 that contributes to its dramatic significance is that it the 'Streetcar named Desire' is mentioned and then used to symbolise Blanches life. In between her speech

A Streetcar Named Desire

1279 words - 6 pages Annotated Bibliography Henthorne, Susan. "A Streetcar Named Desire." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-4. Literary Reference Center. Web 2 Dec. 2013. William Portrays in this play the reality of people's lives. It has a frank presentation of sexual issues. It was not meant to foresee the autobiographical elements of his life, but to show the reality of people's everyday lives. Dramatic devices are often used in this play to

A Streetcar Named Desire

869 words - 3 pages A Streetcar Named Desire is widely considered as one of those classic movies that marked one period of time. This movie presents a sharp critique of the way the institutions and attitudes of postwar America placed restrictions on women's lives. Williams uses Blanche's and Stella's dependence on men to expose and critique the treatment of women during the transition from the old to the new South. The fact that the movie was made in black and

a streetcar named desire

1270 words - 6 pages A Streetcar Named Desire is a Pulitzer Prize-Winning play. The film was nominated for twelve nominations and was awarded four Oscars. It is a stage play with elements of tragedy. The play opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City on December 3, 1947. The producer of the play Charles Feldman sold the production to the Warner Bros. The play was written by Tennessee Williams. Williams is considered the greatest Southern playwright and

A Streetcar Named Desire

742 words - 3 pages All relationships have their ups and down; the effects of these quarrels may lead to violence or love. William Tennessee's A Streetcar Named Desire is a story about two sisters Stella and Blanche DuBois. The older, Blanche, arrives in her sister and brother in law, Stanley Kowalski's, relationship. Blanche used to live in a house named Bell Reve, which she didn't have anywhere to go. The arrival of Blanche highlighted and traced the violence and

A Streetcar Named Desire - 1151 words

1151 words - 5 pages In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams focuses on Blanche's deception, paradoxically also identifying her as the most honest character in the play. He thus asks his audience to question whether true honesty is accepting harsh reality or recognizing the human need for magic, idealism, and lies to cope with life.Fantasy is a product of the imagination that one creates to escape the harsh realities of life. Blanche realizes her need to

Similar Essays

The Characters In A Streetcar Named Desire

2138 words - 9 pages A Streetcar Named Desire is a classic tragedy written by Tennessee Williams, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize as well as many other awards. This brilliant play explores many important themes and issues. The main recurring theme Williams explores to the readers is the conflict between fantasy and reality, honesty and lies. However, sexuality, violence, and social differences also shape the action of the plot, in which they contribute to the

Essay On Portrayal Of Women In The Glass Menagerie And A Streetcar Named Desire

1521 words - 6 pages Portrayal of Women in The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire       The plays of Tennessee Williams are often controversial because of his preoccupation with sex and violence. Basic female character types often reappear throughout each of his plays. The women featured in the plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire all suffer from physical or emotional mutilation and seek fulfillment from a man

The Use Of Language In A Streetcar Named Desire

1516 words - 6 pages The Use of Language in A Streetcar Named Desire Analyse how Tennessee Williams uses language and dramatic techniques to explore attitudes to identity in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Make close reference Analyse how Tennessee Williams uses language and dramatic techniques to explore attitudes to identity in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Make close reference to an extract in the play. Go on to show your understanding of the significance

The Madness Of Blanche Du Bois In A Streetcar Named Desire

1780 words - 7 pages Tennessee Williams wrote about Blanche DuBois: 'She was a demonic character; the size of her feelings was too great for her to contain without the escape of madness.' Williams uses Blanche DuBois as a vehicle to explore several themes that interested him, one of these being madness. His own sister, Rose, was lobotomised in his absence and later institutionalised leading many critics to believe that the character of Blanche may have