Analysis Of A Streetcar Named Desire, By Tennessee Williams

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A Streetcar Named Desire sets the decaying values of the antebellum South against those of the new America. The civil, kindly ways of Blanche’s past are a marked contrast to the rough, dynamic New Orleans inhabited by Stella and Stanley, which leads Tennessee Williams’s “tragedy of incomprehension” (qtd. in Alder, 48). The central protagonist, Blanche, has many flaws; she lies, is vain and deceitful, yet can be witty and sardonic. These multifaceted layers balance what Jessica Tandy, who played Blanche in the first stage production in 1947, “saw as her ‘pathetic elegance’ . . . ‘indomitable spirit and ‘innate tenderness’” (Alder 49). Through a connected sequence of vignettes, our performance presented a deconstruction of Blanche that revealed the lack of comprehension and understanding her different facets and personas created. Initially Blanche is aware of what she is doing and reveals…show more content…
In scene seven Blanche sings the “saccharine popular ballad” (59) Paper Moon (Arlen, Harburg and Rose) while she is in the bath. The lyrics, “But it wouldn’t be make-believe, if you believed in me” (59), echo Blanche’s failure to tell the truth, her misrepresentations and desire for magic. Incorporating the key refrain into Blanche’s first entry and final exit separated the drama from Williams’s presence on stage and intimated that if someone had truly believed in her and loved her then perhaps none of this would have happened. The Varsouviana polka was included in the second vignette as it is a recurring motif “forever associated in Blanche’s mind with the betrayal of love and the death of a loved one” (Alder 71). Described by Irene Selznick as Blanche’s “memory music . . . this was the first musical element William’s integrated into the draft play’s scripts” (Davison 402). Deliberate incorporation of only fragments of the melody demonstrated “the disintegration of Blanche’s mental state”

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