Kowalski and Dubois' Differing Values in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Kowalski and Dubois' Differing Values in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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Kowalski and Dubois' Differing Values in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire is a play founded on the premise of conflicting cultures. Blanche and Stanley, the main antagonists of the play, have been brought up to harbour and preserve extremely disparate notions, to such an extent that their incompatibility becomes a recurring theme within the story. Indeed, their differing values and principles becomes the ultimate cause of antagonism, as it is their conflicting views that fuels the tension already brewing within the Kowalski household. Blanche, a woman disillusioned with the passing of youth and the dejection that loneliness inflicts upon its unwilling victims, breezes into her sister's modest home with the air and grace of a woman imbued with insecurity and abandonment. Her disapproval, concerning Stella's state of residence, is contrived in the face of a culture that disagrees with the old-fashioned principles of the southern plantations, a place that socialised Blanche to behave with the superior demeanour of a woman brain-washed into right-wing conservatism. Incomparably, she represents the old-world of the south, whilst Stanley is the face of a technology driven, machine fuelled, urbanised new-world that is erected on the foundations of immigration and cultural diversity. New Orleans provides such a setting for the play, emphasising the bygone attitude of Blanche whose refusal to part with the archaic morals of her past simply reiterates her lack of social awareness. In stark contrast Stanley epitomises the urban grit of modern society, revealed by his poker nights, primitive tendencies and resentment towards Blanche. ...


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...itome of southern aristocracy, a world dominated by old-fashioned laws and conservative morals, whilst Stanley embodies the fast-moving, vigorous asperity of the modern world and New Orleans. Blanche, quite literally, summarises her attitude to such cultural differences in the line "maybe he's what we need to mix with our blood now that we've lost Belle Reve and have to go on without Belle Reve to protect us." In this sense, she views the male to be a figure of security and protection, perhaps the only worldly perception that she shares with her opposition whose chauvinism exposes a characteristically defined view of the universal man and his role as predator, protector and guardian. Otherwise, their notions are so diverse that their incompatibility drives the plot along and fuels arguments in every scene.

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