The Domination of Female Characters in A Streetcar Named Desire and A View from the Bridge

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The plays A Streetcar Named Desire and A View from the Bridge are both plays that focus on mainly the theme of domination of the female characters by the males. Where A Streetcar Named Desire is a Southern Gothic, A View from a Bridge is a tragedy that is actually similar to Williams’ play as they both end tragically for the main character. Each playwright uses their own method and techniques in order to get the message or point of view across to the audience members.
In A Streetcar Named Desire, the form of a Southern Gothic gives the readers its distinct build – up of tension in the play’s scenes. Throughout the play, the structure closely follows the confrontation between Stanley and Blanche and the tension starts to build up. As the tension increases, the structure changes to compensate for the conflict. Tennessee Williams does this through the play’s stage directions. One such example is where the playwright forebodes future events in the play – ‘The boy [...] I’m going to be sick!’ This cliff – hanger at the end of scene one suggests that Blanche has a mysterious past and it urges the audience members to read on as they are curious to this sudden shock. Like most dramas similar to A Streetcar Named Desire, it follows the common structural points – exposition to dénouement. Williams structures the play as eleven different scenes – each which have different time periods to show the progression of the play from May to September.
Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge is a typical Greek Tragedy as the protagonist dies. The difference between A Streetcar Named Desire and A View from the Bridge is that where A Streetcar Named Desire does not have a narrator in the play, A View from the Bridge does have a narrator, Alfieri. Alfieri...

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...l reflect how women were portrayed in the 1940’s and how they were treated. Stanley’s masculinity threatened Blanche’s magical realism and reigned dominant over Stella. Williams’ presentation of women is shown to be as clear and effective by how his play is well – structured and the play’s genre of a Southern Gothic play. On the other hand, Arthur Miller portrays the domination of women in A View from the Bridge by his use of the narrator, Alfieri, to symbolise the connection between Italy and America after the Second World War. Miller has used external analepsis to create that realistic feeling throughout the play’s acts. The structure in the play allows the frequent interval of Alfieri to give his own opinion on the current events and it also allows the plot itself to have a flow which gives the play its identity of a Greek tragedy through its domination of women.

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