A Streetcar Named Desire
Discuss how the dramatic representation of a character influences your approval/disapproval. Dramatic representation causes, us, the audience to either act in approval or disapproval against a specific character. These dramatic representations are the basic building blocks of a character, and create an even deeper meaning then the one displayed. The dramatic play, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, is a perfect example of simple dramatic devices that form a deep and meaningful character.
A Streetcar Named Desire, set in the late 1940s of New Orleans’ old quarter, depicts the conflict between a fading aristocratic woman of Old America, Blanche DuBois, and the working-class alpha male of New America, Stanley Kowalski. The author, Tennessee Williams, sought refuge in writing, as it was an escape from his reality, in the period of his childhood. These are found to be evident in his work.
Williams has displayed his character construction skills and is seen clearly, as he has constructed Blanche to take on a role that I disapprove of, which is evident in her disrespectful attitude, and is seen by the use of her actions and dialogue. Williams has also constructed Harold Mitchell (Mitch), who I approve because of his sincerity and
Blanche is seen ‘flirting’ with Stanley, who is the groom of her sister Stella Kowalski, without any concern that he is her sister’s husband. Blanche admitted this disrespectful act to her sister as she shamelessly exclaims “Yes – I was flirting with your husband, Stella! ” Williams has constructed Blanche as such an ignorant and shameful character, as to even admit to Stella, as there is emphasis given in the stage directions, which describes Blanche talking in an excited tone (seen by the exclamation mark).
This has made me strongly dislike Blanche as her respect for others is so little, or none at all. Through Blanche’s actions, she has been seen to possess such desperation for money and men. Blanche is depicted as such a money hungry person, because she is financially challenged, and will do anything to acquire as much as possible. She had also been even acquainted with a wealthy man, who was married, stating “Honey, would I be here if the man weren’t married? ” Williams shows how Blanche would rather marry a man for money, with the way she tries to ‘flirt’ and ‘seduce’ them.
She also does not value the issue of love as well. “Sometimes – there’s God – so quickly! ” She is seen taking the opportunity of a lonely man for her own benefit. This is seen as a prostitute-like to me, and I strongly disapprove of this act. In contrast to this, Mitch has been constructed as a man who values his own family highly, as it is seen in his dialogue. He has shown that he respects and loves his mother more then a simple poker game, as he mentions he is always ‘wondering how she is’. This is evident when he talks about his mother as she tells him “… o go out, so I go out, but I don’t enjoy it. All the while I keep wondering how she is. ” Williams has constructed Mitch to carry high values for his ‘sick mother’, and can not stop caring about her. His love for his mother is also clear when he states “I gotta sick mother. She don’t go to sleep until I come in at night”. I strongly approve of Mitch, as he has a lot of respect towards his mother, a value I can relate to well. The use of dialogue for Mitch has shown him as a sensitive and aware character.
Mitch ‘shows’ of his wisdom during the poker night, as he is seen as the most caring and knowledgeable man during that night. His higher intelligence is compared to the other men as he states “Poker shouldn’t be played in a house with women. ” Williams has not only used Mitch as a way of being contrasted to the other men, but made him stand out clearly as a very considerate person. I have clearly approved of such a man who has high morals and sensitivity for others. This can be seen during his act of comforting Blanche by telling her “You need somebody.
And I need somebody, too. ” This has shown him to understand the situation Blanche is in, and ask her if she wants to be together. The many uses of dramatic representations have ultimately made me, approve or disapprove the characters by contrasting and comparing with other characters and my own values and attitudes. This gives the text, A Streetcar Named Desire, to be interpreted through our values and attitudes. By thoroughly investigating on dramatic techniques, I have concluded with a character that I disapprove and another I approve.
The character of Blanche DuBois, has truly made me dislike her greatly as she acts and talks in disrespectful ways. I value people that take respect their own body and respect other people. She can be seen not respecting her sister’s own husband, because of how she views men on their monetary value, rather then their love or affection. This is why I am seen approving of Mitch, as he is seen as a man with high value and attitudes, and is not shy of showing them. He can be seen valuing his own ‘sick mother’ with great pride, and he is considerate to the women at the poker scene.
I value these highly, as I have grown up to respect the elder and view everyone being equal. This contrast has given me time to reflect on my own values and attitudes, and compare them to those in the drama play. My values and attitudes are mine alone, and no one is forced to accept them, as I have had to compare these characters through my own interpretation. Williams has created such a brilliant piece of drama that can be interpreted in so many ways, which leave me in awe.