We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 935
  • Category: play

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire Essay Sample

Q: Explore how far you think Williams succeeds in developing other characters.

People aren’t one sided. We are all complex being and are each unique. So well developed characters should be complex and many sided as well. Tennessee William’s play “A Streetcar Named Desire” is filled with many characters and each have many different sides to them. The main character Blanche is surrounded many supporting ones, the main ones being Stanley, Mitch and Stella.

Stanley is introduced as a social man with a zest for life but the audiences sympathy towards him shift as the play goes on. He is portrayed as the symbol of new America, a polish immigrant who works hard and plays hard as well. Williams frequently uses animalistic language to show a character reliant on base instincts. His first action of “heaving” a package of meat to Stella conjures up the image of a caveman returning with fresh kill. However from scene two, Williams shows an unsavoury side of Stanley’s character, showing him to be insensitive, cruel and brutish. In that scene he is disrespectful to his wife and blindly hateful towards Blanche. He hates Blanch due to her upper class past and snobbish attitude and this leads to his investigation into her past as well as general unkindness towards her throughout the play. His animal instincts are further shown by Williams when he beats Stella after an argument.

The uncontrollable rage he demonstrated lacking any human qualities. However, it is Blanche who takes the worse of Stanley’s actions. After finding out about her past, he tells Mitch, ruining Blanche’s last chance for salvation. He then presents her a birthday present of a one way ticket back to Laurel with mock kindness causing her to lose her breath with shock. But the ultimate cruelty is his rap of Blanche in scene ten, when he is at his most triumphant and she, her most vulnerable. Worse, he shows no remorse for any of his actions, with his sadistic “grin” before the rape showing his complete awareness of his actions. His contribution to Blanche’s downfall is noted by other characters when Mitch angrily says “You done all this” in the last scene. Williams though, also shows Stanley’s caring qualities in his relationship with Stella, from his passionate cry of “STTELLAHH” to his support of her when she is going to hospital. Stanley’s two sides, the caring and the brutal are all memorable and show the complex nature of his character.

Mitch at first appears the chivalric soul mate to Blanche, but is shown to be incompatible and have his own shortcomings. He is seen as more sensitive than the rest of Stanley’s friends, and Blanche notes this when she first sees him, remarking “That one seems superior”. His worrying over his sick mother shows his caring nature and he is one of the only ones to realise the cruelty Stanley has done to Blanche when he angrily shouts “I’ll kill you” in the last scene. He shows resignation instead of anger when Blanche’s lies are uncovered, telling us that he genuinely liked and cared for Blanche. But Mitch and Blanche are not completely compatible, evident when Blanche elegantly dances in scene two while Mitch can only clumsily copy her.

The incident which damns Mitch however is his attempted rape of Blanche straight after her tortured, sympathy gaining, soliloquy. His extreme selfishness is shown in wanting “what [he has] been missing all summer” and he dismisses her call for marriage insultingly, saying she isn’t “clean enough” for his mother. The attempted rape is the tipping point for Blanche mentally and Mitch can take the blame for a part of Blanche’s downfall. But in the same paragraph he shows his gentlemanly base by not carrying out the rape and fleeing, though this could also show him as cowardly and weak. While Mitch’s actions in scene nine are damning, his sensitive and gentlemanly nature shows him as a good person at heart.

Stella is a key character in that she represents our view, but she is still a character and has many facets to her personality. She is portrayed throughout the play in a positive light, as a loving, caring and practical person. She obviously loves and cares about Stanley, and is willing to accept his faults and adapt to his life. This is shown in scene one when she “protests but manages to catch” Stanley’s package of meat and asks if she can watch him bowling.

She is calm and collected, and able to control herself which is remarked on by Blanche, saying “I never had your beautiful self control”. She is also adaptable to new situations, leaving “old” America and Belle Reeve behind and comfortably able to live in “new” America with Stanley; something Blanche found impossible. She does choose to not believe Blanche’s story of Stanley’s rape, despite not being able to deny it having suffered Stanley’s brutality first hand. However all of the new American woman would have done the same as marriage is essential to survival. This is reiterated to her when Eunice says “You done the only thing you could do” Stella is more than just a simple good person character, her actions being significant to the play.

Tennessee Williams does a good job of developing other characters in “Streetcar”. None of the supporting cast are one dimensional and all play significant roles in the play. Stanley and Mitch both show their good and bad sides, while Stella is important in showing us societies reaction to what is going on.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Raisin In The Sun

In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, influence and interference plays a role in everyday life. The Younger family occupies a small living space in a boarding house, they are always together. Mama is an influence yet interference to the family. The characters that feel this way is Walter, Beaneatha, and Ruth. Without Mama the Younger family would get nowhere...

"A Jury of Her Peers" Case

Adapted from Susan Glaspell's popular one-act play, Trifles (1920), "A Jury of Her Peers" is about sisterhood. Women's roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers do not make them totally passive, unintelligent, or subordinate to men. Mrs. Peters, for example, being small, thin, and soft-spoken, did not strike Martha Hale as a sheriff's wife when they first met; however, Mrs. Peters reveals her inner strength in...

Shakespeare’s Moral Play

Morality is a precise system of values regarding the distribution between right and wrong or good or bad behavior. Macbeth morality of an action is committing the evil deed, he deliberately thinks the treacherous nature. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the moral of a play is identified through personal ambition and its disastrous results. Macbeth ends up killing his loyal King believing the witches prophecy. He kills...

An Inspector Calls by an English dramatist...

‘An Inspector Calls’ is a play written in 1945 by an English dramatist J.B Priestley after World War II, which he was greatly influenced by. He was attempting to encourage his audience to change and become a better person in society. In An Inspector Calls, the central theme is responsibility. Priestly explores this and how people from different social classes, gender, and age possess different...

John Proctor by Arthur Miller

John Proctor, a very complex character, a defeated individual, and arguably the protagonist in the play in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. A farmer in his mid-forties whose only priority at the beginning of the play was to maintain happiness. He’s a very confused and insecure man especially due to the affair that he had with Abigail even though he was married to Elizabeth ideally...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member