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What are the characters strengths and weaknesses? What is the plot objective? What is the psychological objective? What is a theme of the play? How is the character connected to the lager theme of the play? Is the character static or dynamic? Is there much to admire? Identify whether the character is a protagonist or antagonist. Identify the character objectives both plot and psychological. Provide textual evidence. Analyze whether the character is static or dynamic. Provide textual evidence. Provide evidence, in the form of specific examples form the text, to support your ideas. Three direct quotes.

 

Paper 3 Drama, Question 1

 

An Analysis of the Play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Thesis Statement: The central theme of the play is desire, which the author depicts as having the ability to ruin one’s life.

A Streetcar Named Desire is an interesting play by Tennessee Williams, which features Blanche DuBois as a tragic character. Blanche faces a desperate situation at Laure, which forces her to move to her sister’s place. On arrival at her sister’s place, she is apprehensive about her husband’s character. A premonition, her fears come real when she realizes that Stanley does not want her presence there.

  1. Is there much to admire in Blanche DuBois

There is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois. The author portrays Blanche as a woman of standards at the beginning of the play. She is openly appalled by squalid conditions her sister Stella is living. This gives the impression that she could have been living at a better place. However, the readers soon realize that Blanche is only putting a fake impression. She does not have money; she lost the family fortune following years of mismanagement; she was fired from her job; she seems emotionally unstable; and she has ruined her reputation at Laure. As such, there is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois.

  1. Blanche DuBois’ strengths and weaknesses

Blanche DuBoi shows various strengths in her character. Blanche appears as an intelligent person. She had been a high school teacher until she was fired for misconduct. She is a cultured woman and is shocked by the appalling conditions her sister lives in. This is because she was used to a refined life at Belle Reve before it came crumbling down. Blanche is quite observant. She notes that Stella has added weight since they last met. In addition, she is able to tell what kind of a person Stanley is after their first meeting. She insists that Stanley is “like an animal” (74). Blanche is resilient. While Stella run away, Blanche stayed by her family amid the struggle. The entire burden of the family was on Blanche’s shoulders. She is quite attached to her family, and it is evident with how she paid for their hospital bills and funeral expenses.

On the other hand, Blanche DuBois has various weaknesses in her character. The first weakness is that she is deceitful. Blanche tells Stanley and Stella that she took a leave of absence from her teaching job. In reality, the school superintended dismissed her for misconduct involving a minor. She does not reveal her weak financial status to Stanley or Stella. Blanche is a snob. She keeps asking Stella and Stanley how she looks. She is a pervert judging by her behavior. At school, she gets into an affair with an underage boy. She also sleeps with men to ease her frustrations of losing her husband. She is delusional and prefers living in an imaginary world with rich men such as Shep Huntleigh.

  • Plot and Psychological Objectives

The plot objective is to show readers that they should accept the reality of life or the situation they find themselves. Blanche lives in imagination and fantasy. At the end of the story, she is delusional. The psychological objective is to show readers that desires or urges can ruin one’s life if not controlled. Blanche has strong desires to engage in promiscuity. An incident where she wants her needs met involves seducing the newspaper deliveryman. She kisses him and then lets go in a bid to protect her reputation. She also has desire for alcohol. Stella leaves with Stanley because she desires a better life away from home.

  1. Theme of the Play

The central theme of the play is desire. The author explores the destructive nature of desire. Blanche’s driving motivations is the desire for sex and alcohol. Her unwavering sexual desire has resulted in her bad reputation at home. Moreover, she was chased out of the home area due to her unrestrained sexual desire. As Stanley says, “…she’s practically told by the mayor to get out of town!” (108). Her self-esteem is tied to her sexual attractiveness. She keeps fishing for compliments from both Stella and Stanley. She desires her youthful looks and attractiveness, which she has already lost bearing in mind that she is over 30 years. She seduces a young delivery boy and ends up giving him a kiss just as Mitch arrives. Desire reigns over Stanley and Stella’s relationship. Stanley has strong sexual desires, which Blanche describes as “animal force” (71). Stella desires comfort and a place to live, which is why she sticks with Stanley even after learning that he raped Blanche. Blanche rides on a taxi named “Desire”, which is a metaphorical of her nature.

  1. Connection of the Character to the Larger Theme of the Play

Blanche DuBois connects strongly to the theme of desire. Blanche has strong sexual desires, which have significantly contributed towards her downfall. She is dismissed from her teaching career after developing an illicit relationship with an underage student. At Laurel, Blanche has ruined her reputation completely. As Stanley says, “She [Blanche] is as famous in Laurel as if she was the President of the United States” (106), adding that this is not a compliment since no one respects her. Blanche falls quickly for Mitch whom he meets on the bathroom door at Stanley’s house. She is hopeful that Mitch will marry her eventually. However, she is not in love with Mitch but she is desperate to move out of Stanley’s house. Blanche seduces a young newspaper delivery boy, telling him that she would love to keep him, only that she has to maintain a good reputation. All these indicate she is full of desire.

  1. Is the Character Static or Dynamic?

Blanche is a dynamic character because she changes throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, readers see Blanche as smart, confident, beautiful, classy, and wealthy woman who has come on a visit to see her sister Stella. As the play progresses, readers get to know her real self. Blanche is not smart, as she seems. She was kicked out of her teaching position after having an affair with an underage student. She does not feel confident about her looks. In fact, it is possible to see that she as self-esteem issues. This is because she keeps begging for complements about her looks. At the beginning of the play, she cannot come to terms with the fact that her sister lives in squalid conditions. This gives the indication that she is a classy woman. However, it becomes apparent that she was living in worse conditions and that she has no money left. Blanche escapes reality by engaging in promiscuity and drinking of alcohol. At the end of the play, she seems delusional. For instance, she claims that she received a telegram from a friend willing to take her on a Caribbean cruise.

  • Whether Blanche is Protagonist or an Antagonist

Blanche is the protagonist in the play. The protagonist is the principle or leading character in a story, around whom events in the story develop. Blanche is a tragic protagonist judging by the life of fantasy she leads and the sexual assault she experiences from Stanley. Her arrival at Stanley’s house triggers the chain of events that occur. The story revolves around her plight, perhaps the author’s attempt to show the hardships that women go through. All events in the play revolve around Blanche, which indicates she is the protagonist. The play revolve her interactions with everyone, including her family members, Stanley, the school where she worked, the local community at Laurel, and her life at her sister’s place.

A Street Named Desire is an interesting play by Tennessee Williams whose central them is desire. The play intends to highlight the destructive nature of desire when individuals fail to tone their desires. The protagonist in the play is Blanche DuBois. She is a tragic protagonist in the play. Blanche faces a desperate situation, which brings her to Stanley’s place. She is looking for somewhere to stay. However, she does not like Stanley and neither does he. This creates tension between the two. In the end, Stanley assaults her, and she seems delusional.

Related: Mary Gaitskill’s The Girl on the Plane

Works Cited

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire.      http://www.metropolitancollege.com/Streetcar.pdf. Accessed 21 April 2017.

Paper 3 Drama, Question 1

An Analysis of the Play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Thesis Statement: The central theme of the play is desire, which the author depicts as having the ability to ruin one’s life.

  1. Introduction
  2. There is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois
  3. At the beginning of the play, she is portrayed as a woman of standards.
  4. She puts on a fake impression.
  5. She has gone through a list of misfortunes.
  • Blanche DuBoi shows various strengths in her character.
  1. She is intelligent.
  2. She is cultured.
  3. She is observant.
  4. She is caring.
  5. Blanche DuBois has various weaknesses in her character.
  6. She is deceitful.
  7. She is a snob.
  8. She is delusional.
  9. The plot objective is to show readers that they should accept the reality of life or the situation they find themselves.
  10. She lives in fantasy.
  11. She becomes delusional.
  12. Desires can ruin one’s life.
  13. The central theme of the play is desire.
  14. Author explores destructive nature of desire.
  15. Blanche is promiscuous.
  16. Stella and Stanley are driven by desire.
  • Blanche DuBois connects strongly to the theme of desire.
  1. She has a strong sexual desire.
  2. She falls for Mitch.
  3. She seduces a young man.
  • Blanche is a dynamic character because she changes throughout the play.
  1. Blanche is smart, confident, and full of positivity.
  2. She lacks confidence and is in a desperate situation.
  3. She becomes delusional.
  4. Blanche is the protagonist in the play.
  5. Principle character.
  6. Her arrival at Stanley’s triggers the story.
  7. All events revolve around Blanche.
  8. Conclusion
  9. Central theme.
  10. Her desperateness.

Related: Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

 

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