Williams Viewed The Characters He Created As 'my Little Company Of Faded And Frightened, The Difficult, The Odd, The Lonely'. Are There Any Of The Charatcers Recognised From This Description? A Streetcar Named Desire

1379 words - 6 pages

In the novel 'A Streetcar Named Desire', Williams uses vivid language to paint the characters and environment clearly to the reader. There is also an excellent plot and dialogue between the characters. Even without an extensive background on each character, it is possible to judge a charatcer based on speech and actions alone. Based on Williams' description of the characters he created, I would think of Blanche as the 'faded and frightened' and also 'lonely'. She was once a Southern belle from a wealthy family, but she has a failed marriage and fled from her dubious past. Although Blanche still thinks of herself as a wealthy socialite, in reality, she is an alcoholic who has little money or ...view middle of the document...

As Blanche is used to leading an educated and rich lifestyle in the past, she is naive and not only calls Stanley 'common', but also compares him to an ape. Blanche: “He acts like an animal, has an animal’s habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! (Scene 4). In an attempt to escape from her past in which she was involved in permiscuos acts which evntually led to her eviction from Laurel, Blanche chooses to live in a world of illusion and fantastical thinking. Blanche: “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” (Scene 9) However, Stanley is able see through Blanche’s act, and therefore does not trust her.As the play progresses, Blanche and Stanley engage in more confrontations. Stanley becomes increasingly angered when he learns of her dishonourable past. Blanche therefore fears Stanley for exposing her tragic past to Mitch, knowing that Mitch would desert her immediately when he finds out that she has been lying about everything all the while. Stanley becomes increasingly angered at her act of innocence one moment and flirting the next. The climax of the play comes when Stanley rapes Blanche while Stella is in the hospital after having the baby. This drives Blanche, who may have already been mentally unbalanced, over the edge especially when Stella refuses to believe her accusations. Blanche therefore fears Stanley, more so than before because she knows that no one else will believe in her accusations if Stella doesn't so Stanley can do whatever he wants to her.
The next character whom I consider to be difficult in Williams' description is without a doubt, Stanley. Stanley's intense hatred of Blanche is motivated in part by the aristocratic past Blanche represents.He also sees her as untrustworthy and does not appreciate the way she attempts to fool him and his friends into thinking that she is as innocent as she claims to be. Also, Blanche’s presence disrupt Stanley and Stella’s sexual intimacy. These are some of the main reasons why Stanley went out of his way to make life as difficult as possible for Blanche. His investigations of her past, his birthday gift to her, his sabotage of her relationship with Mitch- all these were part of the ploy to drive Blanche out of his house. Although earlier in the play, Stanley responds in kind to Blanche’s flirtations, telling her that “If I didn’t know that you was my wife’s sister I’d get ideas about you,” he actually despises her and is enjoying the power that comes from being aware of the feelings she has for him. Stanley also appears to lack any sense of moral order: his rape of Blanche does not strike him as betraying any moral code, it is simply the outcome of their strained relationship and what he deems to as appropriate punishment to Blanche's immoral behaviour in the past. Having a commanding presence around his friends and family members, Stanley convinces Stella that Blanche is...

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