In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the character of Blanche Dubois is a vivid example of the use of symbolism throughout the play. Blanche wants to view things in an unrealistic way.
“I don’t want realism. I want magic…I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth…” (Blanche p.117). She doesn’t want reality; instead she wishes to view a rose-colored version of life that goes along with her old-fashioned southern belle personality.
Blanche doesn’t want to face the reality of her problems. She wants everything to be softened and dimmed for her, just as the light is softened and dimmed by the shade. “Light” often symbolizes truth, which is why she doesn’t like to stand in an illuminated room. She hides from reality and lives in a world of her own creation. “I can’t stand a naked bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action…” (Blanche p.55 scene 3). She had bought a little colored paper lantern to put it over the light bulb, so the room could get that mysterious touch that she wanted.
“…Soft people have got to shimmer and glow- they’ve got to put on soft colors, the colors of butterfly wings, and put a paper lantern over the light… It isn’t enough to be soft. You’ve got to be soft and attractive. And I-I’m fading now! I don’t know how much longer I can turn the trick…” (Blanche p. 79 scene 5). Blanche can al...
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- Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, the character of Blanche Dubois is a vivid example of the use of symbolism throughout the play. Blanche wants to view things in an unrealistic way. “I don’t want realism. I want magic…I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth…” (Blanche p.117). She doesn’t want reality; instead she wishes to view a rose-colored version of life that goes along with her old-fashioned southern belle personality.... [tags: Streetcar Desire Tennessee Williams Essays]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams “Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama…the purest language of plays.” Once, quoted as having said this, Tennessee Williams has certainly used symbolism and colour extremely effectively in his play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. A moving story about fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her lapse into insanity, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ contains much symbolism and clever use of colour. This helps the audience to link certain scenes and events to the themes and issues that Williams presents within the play, such as desire and death, and the conflict between the old America and the new.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Literature Essays]
1254 words (3.6 pages)
- The most obvious symbol used in A Streetcar Named Desire is its title and the actual reference, in the play, to the streetcars named Desire and Cemeteries. They are the means by which Blanche was brought to the home of Stanley and Stella and, as the play unfolds, we realize the names of the streetcars have a greater significance. Blanche's instructions were to “take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries." When Blanche first arrives she is possessed by a desire for love and understanding, but always in the background lurks the fear of death and destruction.... [tags: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire]
786 words (2.2 pages)
- During the late nineteen-forties, it was common for playwrights such as Tennessee Williams to use symbolism as an approach to convey personal thoughts, through the attitudes of the characters and the setting. Williams' actors have used symbolism to disguise the actuality of their thoughts and to accommodate the needs of their conservative audience. A Streetcar Named 'Desire' has a few complicated character traits and themes. Therefore, they have to be symbolised using figures or images to express abstract and mystical ideas, so that the viewers can remain clueless.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
3836 words (11 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' Use of Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire Many playwrights use the technique of symbolism in their plays because it adds to the dramatic impact and allows the playwright to give the audience a deeper understanding of the play on a different level; this makes the play more interesting. Symbolism can be used to add tension to a scene, to foreshadow certain events in a play or even to give us a deeper understanding of a character. In "A Streetcar Named Desire" the author Williams uses a numerous amount of symbols to create all of these effects.... [tags: Papers]
1207 words (3.4 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' Use of Imagery and Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire Throughout the play symbolism is used to capture attention and to appeal to viewers' emotions. It is expressed through music, colour and imagery all of which help to heighten tension and reflect the atmosphere created by an impending force. The actions involved in the development of imagery and symbolism in the characters are, for example, Blanche's sitting, her whisky drinking, her jumping, etc, actions which show her nervous personality of a stressed woman.... [tags: Papers]
1194 words (3.4 pages)
- Character Analysis of Blanche Through Text and Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams was once quoted as saying "Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama...the purest language of plays" (Adler 30). This is clearly evident in A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Williams's many plays. In analyzing the main character of the story, Blanche DuBois, it is crucial to use both the literal text as well as the symbols of the story to get a complete and thorough understanding of her.... [tags: Streetcar Named Desire]
2157 words (6.2 pages)
- A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennessee Williams is about a women named Blanche who goes to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley. Blanche has begun to mentally deteriorate due to all the stress, sadness and disappointment she has dealt with throughout her life. Blanche had lost her husband, lost Bella Reave which was a place the family had owned since they were young girls and has lost in a sense self-respect for herself. Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois, Symbol]
1592 words (4.5 pages)
- After two world wars, the balance of power between the genders in America had completely shifted. Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire is a harsh, yet powerful play that exposes the reality of the gender struggle. Williams illustrates society’s changing attitudes towards masculinity and femininity through his eloquent use of dramatic devices such as characterization, dialogue, setting, symbolism, and foreshadowing. Stanley, the protagonist, is a symbol for society’s view of the stereotypical male.... [tags: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire]
1937 words (5.5 pages)
- A Streetcar Named Desire From the beginning, the three main characters of Streetcar are in a state of tension. Williams establishes that the apartment is small and confining, the weather is hot and oppressive, and the characters have good reason to come into conflict. The South, old and new, is an important theme of the play. Blanche and her sister come from a dying world. The life and pretensions of their world are becoming a thing of memory: to drive home the point, the family mansion is called "Belle Reve," or Beautiful Dream.... [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire Essays]
2333 words (6.7 pages)