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Blanche Du Bois Within A Streetcar Named Desire English Literarure Essay

835 words - 4 pages

I
I both disagree and agree with the statement above as there are certain aspects amongst scene 1 which makes the reader believe Blanche is clinging to the past but also trying to escape it. Amongst Tennessee Williams’ extensive literary productions, A Streetcar Named Desire is perhaps the best known. The play explores issues of sexuality and psychology. It revolves around the conflict between the vulnerable female protagonist, Blanche Dubois, and the animalistic and macho Stanley Kowalski. An interesting facet of Tennessee Williams’ work is his tendency to entwine biographical details into his fictional productions. His family members pose as characters: his mother as the scaffolding for the Southern Belle, his father the swaggering male bully who morphs into Stanley Kowalski.  
Williams’ writing is a mixture of his own nature and nurture translated into dramatic theatre. Certain themes recur in his work: pretence and loss, sexual turmoil and escapism, mental disintegration and illness. Indeed, it has been said of Williams’ work that
'Failures of personality are a special theme . . .' and 'his plays deal with hypersensitive characters, who from weakness or disability, either cannot face the real world at all or have to opt out of it.'
As a youth Williams struggled with his own sexuality, and his father seemed to perpetuate this, calling him 'Miss Nancy’ and encouraging him to join a fraternity, thinking it would masculinize him. Williams' mother ‘had the beauty and social inclination of a Southern belle and, if not the wealth, the status . . .’ Her traits inspired Blanche Dubois of A Streetcar Named Desire. Williams’ relationship with his sister Rose played a strong role in the development of his writing. ‘Without Rose Williams,' one has suggested, 'there might never have been a Tennessee.’ Her institutionalization and lobotomy played on his own fear of madness. Like some of his leading characters, Williams suffered the loss of a meaningful individual. Blanche Dubois loses Alan.
Williams’ biography is inextricably linked to his writing. Notions of sexual shame and fugitive feelings seem to have grown from paternal rejection. His writing inherited a maternal reverence for both Southern and religious values. Williams’ intimate relationship with his sister left him with a deep feeling of loss and particular sensitivity to mental instability, as apparent in his works.
A Streetcar Named Desire opens with Blanche, the gentile Southern Belle, arriving onto the ironically named Elysian Fields—she seeks refuge in New Orleans with her younger sister Stella following a series of distressing events. From the outset...

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