Essay on Illusions and Fantasy in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay on Illusions and Fantasy in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

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Illusions and Fantasy in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire



'A Streetcar Named Desire', by Tennessee Williams, explores many
important themes and issues in the book. The main theme Williams
investigates and explores to the audience, is illusion and fantasy.
Each character in the book contributes to creating, adding to and
destructing fantasies and illusions, and I feel it is a very important
theme in the book, as it represents and symbolises other issues
Williams explores with the audience.

The play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' revolves around the character
Blanche Dubois; therefore, the main theme of the drama concerns her
directly. In Blanche, the audience is shown the tragedy of an
individual, caught between two worlds ? the world of her past and the
world of her present, unwilling to let go of the past and unable,
because of her character, to come to any sort of terms with her
present. The final result at the end of the play is the deterioration
of her mind and character and her self-destruction.

Blanche dwells in illusion; fantasy is her primary means of
self-defence against her weaknesses and shortcomings. The story begins
with Blanche going to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella and
her husband Stanley. Straight away, we are introduced to Blanche?s
illusions and the battle between the illusions and the characters
begins. We are introduced to Blanche, who immediately reveals to us
her deceptive nature, as ?she pours herself a half tumbler of whisky?
she carefully replaces the bottle and washes out the tumbler at the
sink?, yet she tells Stanley, regarding the drink: ?I ? rarely touch
it.? Already, we see that Blanche is creating illusions about her
alcohol and refuses to ack...


... middle of paper ...


...his is best shown in
scene ten, when Stanley rapes Blanche ? ?A prostitute has rolled a
drunkard. He pursues her along the walk, overtakes her and there is a
struggle? the NEGRO WOMAN appears and?roots excitedly through?a bag
which the prostitute has dropped.?

However, there are other important themes in the play, which also have
to be considered, because illusions and fantasy are not the only
issues Williams deals with and raises in the play; there are the
issues of death and loss dealt with; the issue of Old and New America
conflicting with each other; the idea of a society of men dominating
women; violence; opposing backgrounds; loneliness, alcoholism and
sexuality, but most of these issues are all dealt with, represented by
and can link to illusion and fantasy, so the theme is an extremely
important one, within the play ?A Streetcar Named Desire?.

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