Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2001

7 Pages

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Author: Tennessee Williams

- real name: Thomas Lanier Williams
- born in 1914 and grew up in Columbus, Mississippi
- college: he started to write novels
- 1944: “The Glass Menagerie”
- Pulitzer - Award for “A Streetcar Named Desire”
- A shy and sensitive man
- Mother: from a prayer – family
- Father: businessman
- Sister Rose: psychical ill
- Writing was a way to flee out of reality

Items relevant:

- name of the play
- place (New Orleans)
- immigrants from all parts of Europe
- Nepoleonic Code
- Aristocratic plantation owners
- Vivacious atmosphere

Beginning of the drama:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The drama shows Blanche’s development:

- each scene shows a different step / aspect of her inner conflict (climax in scene 11)

- Elia Kazan: “Blanche is playing eleven different roles”

Comments: 1) The audience see the development of one role (blanche

2) Eleven different roles because of eleven situations Blanche is in; She has o fit to each situation to survive.

3) Blanche doesn’t change her character

4) At the beginning of the drama she is playing (e.g. a lady) and then

Scene 2

Stanley does not want Blanche in his house / flat

- he (worker) thinks Blanche (defined type) stands between Stella and him Stella’s function:
- she tries to control the situation between Blanche and Stanley
- tries to intervene between them
- BUT: no possible co-existence possible

Scene 3 (Poker Night)

1. How does Stanley behave in his scene?
2. Trace Blanche’s behaviour in this scene.
3. Has Blanche risen to an equal partner in the confrontation with Stanley?
4. Where is the sympathy of the author?
5. What meaning does Mitch have?

To 1.

- impolite to Blanche
- unpleasant behaviour, rough, aggressive, impatient, violent, intemperate
- shouts (for his female), vulgar language
- gives orders, dominating
- drunk, no self-control
- treats his poker-friends as if they are underprivileged
- no understanding of Mitch’s problem with his mother
- physical attraction between Stanley & Stella

To 2.

- outward appearance: important to her, lady-like behaviour
- feels superior to Stanley and his friends
- coquettish
- good high-brow English (she pretends to be a lady)
- interested in Mitch, wants to be attractive
- tells lies
- she wants to be a southern belle

To 3.

- she has not risen to an equal partner
- he gives himself another higher level
- Blanche is for him only a woman without rights
- He is the “man in the house”; he thinks he has the power to say Blanche (or Mitch) what to do or say

To 4.

Sympathy changes > charity

7 of 7 pages


Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
347 KB
Williams, Tennessee, Streetcar, Named, Desire
Quote paper
Barbara Späker (Author), 2001, Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/105291


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