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Opposing Values in Streetcar Named Desire

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    Choose a play in which the dramatist explores conflict between opposing ideas or values. Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the conflict and discuss the extent to which you find the solution of the problem satisfying.

    Ci Xu

    “A Streetcar Named Desire” is an emotional play written by Tennessee Williams. The story sets in the late 1940s after the WWII in the modern metropolis of New Orleans where Blanche, the last idealistic remnant of the once rich southern state plantation, Belle Reve, now come to this multicultural neighbourhood to see her sister, Stella, who have abandoned the glamour of Belle Reve to be with the man she loved, Stanley. Soon it is apparent Blanche and Stanley’s beliefs and what they represent are at complete opposites. The playwright uses a series of characters to represent values in the main theme of illusion vs. reality to make aware of the conflict that lies deep in the 40s America, but like all conflicts there must be an end, in this case the mental breakdown of Blanche as she have lost to Stanley’s pressure, which I do not find satisfying at all.

    Blanche is a main character of the entire play, and it’s the introduction of her presence that has generated the conflicts to follow. Blanche has suffered quite a lot, especially the trauma of losing her husband she has loved with all her heart at a very young age and the fact she had to deal with all the deceased relatives of Belle Reve by herself and in the end have to be forced to sell her family inheritance – the entire plantation. She craves men because she want to have somebody to rely on, and that’s perhaps why she have slept with a number of men in Lauder. Since her irrational and franking eccentric behaviour, and out of protection of herself and her self-portrayed image of being young and attractive, she have developed illusion to escape to and lies to cover the truth. She has started lying ever since Scene 1, where she have lied about her drinking problems, and it’s not.

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