Paper as a Metaphor in A Streetcar Named Desire

Paper as a Metaphor in A Streetcar Named Desire

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"[M]ortgages, foreclosures, directions, letters, poems, telegrams, newspapers, appraisals, songs, even moons (Kolin 1)." What do these all have to do with each other? Paper and A Streetcar Named Desire. Philip C. Kolin points out this metaphor in his article " 'It's only a paper moon': The Paper Ontology' in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.'" Kolin has found that Williams has used paper as a metaphor to describe Blanche's and Stanley's faults and desires. Kolin finds this to be a common thread in Williams' work but mainly focuses on Streetcar.

Williams himself finds paper to be an interesting creation: "In Williams' own words, paper, when properly inscribed, can be sacred, yet when it is subjected to corrupt or untruthful imprints it is profane" (2). It's true paper seems to play a very important role in this play.

One of the first things Stanley does is throw a "red-stained swatch of butcher paper" (3), at Stella. After reading or viewing this play, a bloodstained paper and Stanley definitely seem to intertwine with each other. Kolin argues Stanley uses paper ...

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