A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


I think that there is a pattern of conflict and tension within the
story because there seems to be a lot or argument distributed fairly
evenly throughout the story. It starts of fairly mellow, with two
sisters re-uniting after such a long parting. This so far makes the
story look very tame and there is not a lot of fighting or violence
involved, which is when the story takes a completely different turn
and there are sparks of conflict. This is all very well, until Stella
tries to talk about Blanche and he love life, or lack of it. This, as
far as Blanche is concerned, hits a soft spot and the first conflict
of the story begins. This is very quickly corrected, and they get back
to normal swiftly as if nothing had ever happened.

This is one of the main patterns that I see. A fight takes place due
to wrong doings, or disagreements, or suspicions and then after a
short, abrupt, violent argument, everything is made better bye
discussing it, and apologise made. Unfortunately most of these
apologise, although legitimate, don't seem to mean an awful lot,
because they are forever being made, and still conflicts involving
violence and offensive actions are still happening so often. If the
apology was meant, and was from the heart, there wouldn't be as many
conflicts because they would have learnt a lesson. This is another
pattern in the conflicts, the after apology.

Another pattern I noticed, was that within the conflicts, one half of
the fight, one person, is very much more stubborn and sticks by their
guns, as the other one, gives in and does exactly what the strong
person says. This happens either voluntarily or by force, within the
fights. In the fight about 'the papers' Stanley is the much more
stubborn, stronger person (in fighting personality and sheer
strength), who demands the papers. He uses the 'Napoleonic code' to
display his argument but also to show he wont back down. Blanche gives

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in immediately and shows him the papers, half voluntarily and half
from intimidation.

I think that Williams sets up these tensions within an overall pattern
so that the story looks to be going one way, and ends up doing
something completely different at the end, which is known as
misdirection. Throughout the story the pattern is that tension builds,
which gets to a certain point, and then there is a fight which
involves a lot of violence and anger being distributed among each of
the characters involved. Then there is some abuse thrown around,
verbally or physically, which then gets to a point that is either too
much and the line is crossed, or there is a settlement and one of the
parties submit.

Most of the conflicts within this pattern are fairly minor, mostly
just containing verbal conflict, arguments, and one or two acts of
violence, like when Stanley hits Stella in an act of rage, but that
was after a few drinks. Most of the violence involving Stanley is
after he has had a few drinks, or many, and he doesn't have the
control over his actions and much as he would if he was completely
sober, which is the direct affect of the alcohol he has consumed. When
he comes home, quite drunk and Stella is out, he sees Blanche and they
start to have a conversation, which swiftly gets turned into an
argument, that he knows about her and what she's been up to and that
he has been able to see through her from the start. This conflict
starts to scare Blanche, which is completely justified, because
Stanley starts to use brutal force, which makes Blanche smash a bottle
as a defence implement, but it doesn't work, and Stanley once again
conquers the conflict, and because of this, almost in triumph, rapes
Blanche once she has gone flaccid and limp.

In scene 11 there is a lot of tension between the characters, which is
very clear. There is a lot of anger between Blanche and Stanley and
Stella and Stanley because he raped Blanche. Both of the women feel
violated and let down, because of his offence towards Blanche, and the
fact that he cheated on Stella using force, on her sister. This
creates a lot of silent conflict, through pure hate for what Stanley
had done to Blanche, which is spread throughout the rest of the
characters. Mitch is angry as a result of what Stanley did because it
was towards a woman who he cared about, whether he would admit it, due
to the scene when he calls Blanche 'too dirty to take home with him'.
Eunice is angry with Stanley, although she doesn't really show it very
much, because she cares about both the girls, and because he wronged
them, she feels she should feel an amount of dislike towards him.

Blanche near the end of the scene ends up on the floor because it
seems she can't be touched, because every time she does, it reminds
her of what he did to her. She has proved earlier on that she can't
handle the past, the memories of what has happened to her and her
loved ones, when Stella tries to talk about Blanche's deceased
husband. This raised a momentary conflict between Stella and Blanche,
so when the 'strange woman' grabs her, she gets the memory she can't
deal with and conflict is raised again, but this time between Blanche
and the strange woman. This ends up with Blanche giving in to the
dominant other half of the confrontation, and ends up on the floor in
submission. As Blanche gets back up when she has calmed down, and is
as if nothing has happened, it seems the tensions have gone and she
seems as if she is in a bubble where her hate can not affect her, and
her love is very relaxed.

The ending to the play, where Stella leaves the house with the baby
cradled in her arms, which is to symbolise that she is leaving
forever, and not coming back to Stanley because of what he has done.
She sees him as a betraying, nasty man, who uses force to get what he
wants, and doesn't want him to be around her any more and not around
her growing child. This way, she avoids any more physical conflict and
she protects her child from possibly being hit, which could be likely
because Stanley is a very conflicting man, who will do what he can,
even if its unjustified, to gets things his way, and get what he
wants.


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