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

Symbols And Symbolism In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

816 words - 4 pages

 

The most obvious symbol used in A Streetcar Named Desire is its title and the actual reference, in the play, to the streetcars named Desire and Cemeteries. They are the means by which Blanche was brought to the home of Stanley and Stella and, as the play unfolds, we realize the names of the streetcars have a greater significance. Blanche's instructions were to “take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries." When Blanche first arrives she is possessed by a desire for love and understanding, but always in the background lurks the fear of death and destruction. If the one cannot be obtained, a transfer to the other will be the inevitable alternative. ...view middle of the document...

The intrusion of a third member caused sin and despair. Elysian Fields will never be the same for Stanley and Stella after Blanche's departure.

During Blanche's slow and inevitable journey toward insanity she is constantly looking for a means of escape.With ‘defiant courage’ in the face of inevitable defeat, Blanche tries to survive with dignity (Adler 13).  Realizing that satisfaction is impossible in the Kowalski household, she reaches out desperately to Mitch. When this means of escape becomes unattainable she creates an escape of her own, Shep Huntleigh. He is a symbol of the perfect gentleman for whom Blanche searched but never really found. She found him, however, in her world of fantasy. As Blanche's deterioration increases, Huntleigh becomes a more vital and dominant illusion for her.

In scene nine we hear the vendor's cry of the Mexican Woman, "Flores, flores para los muertos" (flowers, flowers for the dead). It follows the moment when Mitch denounces Blanche as a liar and thereupon refuses to marry her. The vendor's cry becomes symbolic of Blanche's failure to remain among the living. Blanche protests by shouting "No, no! Not now! Not now!" but the cry persists and in the following moment Blanche loses her hold on reality.

Throughout the play there is a continual reference to light. It is used in the form of...

Other Essays Like Symbols And Symbolism In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

Marriage In A Doll House And A Streetcar Named Desire

994 words - 4 pages , weaknesses and outlooks on life, or morals just by their actions. In A Doll House written in 1879 by Henrik Ibsen and in A Streetcar Named Desire written in 1947 by Tennessee Williams we are shown two different husbands, Torvald Helmer and Stanley Kowalksi that have an issue with having to be in control of their wives and their lives. In A Doll House we see a marriage between Torvald and Nora Helmer. Torvald is a major character in the play

To What Extent Do Female Characters Go Against Contextual Expectations of Women in William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and Tennessee Williams's ‘a Streetcar Named Desire’?

1395 words - 6 pages Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare are two writers of different times who experienced vastly different events in their lives. Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 and while he was in University, his sister, Rose, had begun suffering from a mental illness. She later underwent a prefrontal lobotomy. We can see that his play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ reflects this experience, perhaps through the character of Blanche who is very frantic and

A Streetcar Named Desire: The Downfall Of Blanche And Biff

910 words - 4 pages The downfall of two of the main characters of A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman are strikingly similar. In both plays, one of the main characters witnesses a devastating event which traumatizes them for the rest of their lives. This single event shapes their futures, their attitudes, their outlook on life, and their views of others. These events show that there are often things that can happen in life which affect everything that

Comparison Of The Great Gatsby And A Streetcar Named Desire

1493 words - 6 pages In the novel The Great Gatsby and the play A Streetcar Named Desire the main characters James Gatsby and Blanche Dubois have a lengthy search for love. Both characters go about their search in similar and different ways. The characters choose illusion over reality, but the way in which they go about it differs. Also in an attempt to impress, both characters try and “buy” love by using material possessions to attract people to them. Although

Blanche - Streetcar Named Desire

1164 words - 5 pages take a street-car named Desire’. Furthermore her desire in her past is also what caused a downfall when she had an affair with a schoolboy in a school in Laurel where she was once a teacher. Her past could be seen as consequently the cause of her downfall. It is because of this past that Blanche has moved from Laurel to New Orleans and how she has lost everything she once had. The past that she thought she had left behind is what

Psychoanalytical Analysis of a Streetcar Named Desire

845 words - 4 pages Psychoanalytical Analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire It is very debatable how much psychology can influence an author, or how much the author's psychological features can influence his work. According to the psychoanalytical theory, symbols can reflect repressed desires, explain what is happening in the unconscious mind and can be the root causes behind behaviours and actions. Symbolism is one the most important means of [pic]communication

Streetcar Named Desire

944 words - 4 pages her older Sister) * Tries not to appear in harsh light which would reveal her harsh looks ( asks Mitch to hang up a lantern to dim the light) * Sexuality towards young men Important quotations: Blanche’s history is cause of her downfall represented by “rode a streetcar named desire” former life in Mississippi, lust “transferred to s streetcar named Cemeteries death “to street named Elysian Fields” sexual desires led to

Streetcar Named Desire

817 words - 4 pages hope its that we all feel justified as just to how the key to understanding anything, is to understand its value in its time and our own. Browning and Tennessee both explore this idea through their texts, influenced by the light of their contexts, and both highlighting the main concerns of Male Dominance, and the loss of innocence of the female figure as a result of this. But it is unprecedent in the society of today, as the power dynamics of men and women are rapidly changing. I like to say, and conclude on the note ‘I love to be individual, to step beyond Gender’ Thankyou.

Opposing Values in Streetcar Named Desire

1702 words - 7 pages Choose a play in which the dramatist explores conflict between opposing ideas or values. Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the conflict and discuss the extent to which you find the solution of the problem satisfying. Ci Xu “A Streetcar Named Desire” is an emotional play written by Tennessee Williams. The story sets in the late 1940s after the WWII in the modern metropolis of New Orleans where Blanche, the last idealistic remnant

A Comparison Of A Streetcar Named Desire And The Master Builder

769 words - 4 pages The Comedy and Tragedy of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Master Builder It has been said that the world is a comedy to those that think, and a tragedy to those who feel.  This philosophy is supported by two important literary works, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen. In each piece, the sensitive and emotional characters experience tremendous pain, while the cold and unfeeling

Tennessee Williams' Play "A Street Car Named Desire" An Essay About How Blanches Society Is The Epitome Of Her Eventual Demise

1105 words - 5 pages Tennessee Williams a playwright plagued with a childhood in a dysfunctional family and the Burdon of being a homosexual in the 1940?s, wrote many plays concerning topics that could be considered taboo for their time. An excellent example of his controversial writing is presented in the play ?A Streetcar Named Desire.? This literary work deals with such topics as alcoholism, suicide, homosexuality, promiscuous sexual relations, rape, and

Related Papers

Expressionism In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire

3462 words - 14 pages 8: American Drama - An Introduction. "PAL: Perspectives in AmericanLiteratureAResearchandReferenceGuide. Roudané, Matthew C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams. New York: Cambridge UP, 1997. Tosio, Paul. “An Object Relational Psychoanalysis of Selected Tennessee Williams Play Texts.” Thesis of Master of Arts. Rhodes University, 2003. Welsch, Camille-Yvette. “World War II, Sex, and Displacement in A Streetcar Named Desire” Critical Insights. . (23-40). Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. Karaj: Daha, 2002.

An Extract From Blanches Diary; A Creative Text Based On The Play A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

1388 words - 6 pages ... the streetcar named desire. Stella for a star. Go past cemetery and on to Elysian Fields... I need kindness... That is the way it ought to be...there is the shot... the boy... Alan...the strangers... I shall take the streetcar... I shall tell what ought to be the truthWord count of text production: 692Objectives: ● To show Blanche's change from a normal girl to a mentally unstable person To use a sophisticated and slightly poetic

A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

1759 words - 8 pages In Tennesse Williams' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" the readers are introduced to a character named Blanche DuBois. In the plot, Blanche is Stella's younger sister who has come to visit Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans. After their first meeting Stanley develops a strong dislike for Blanche and everything associated with her. Among the things Stanley dislikes about Blanche are her "spoiled-girl" manners and

A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

1056 words - 5 pages ------------------------------------------------- Analysis of Major Characters Blanche DuBois When the play begins, Blanche is already a fallen woman in society’s eyes. Her family fortune and estate are gone, she lost her young husband to suicide years earlier, and she is a social pariah due to her indiscrete sexual behavior. She also has a bad drinking problem, which she covers up poorly. Behind her veneer of social snobbery and sexual