Along these weeks we have been working with different North America theatre plays that show the wide opportunity of themes an author has when writing a play. In this essay, as the topic, I will centre on what type of “Desire” we can find in each of the plays and if we can find some similarities among them.
To start with, thereare two plays that deal with this theme since the very beginning, since the title. These plays are: “Desire under the Elms” and “A streetcar Named Desire”. In both plays we can see how this theme is introduced as the main topic and that in both this desire that we find in the titles takes a symbolic meaning throughout the play. When look at “Desire under the Elms” we can see an evolution fromdesire to love, however, in “A streetcar Named Desire”, we feel that love does never appear, only carnal desire. Moreover, this desire is well perceived throughout the author’s descriptions, as for example in “Desire under the Elms” when the author writes: “Abbie stands for a second staring at him, her eyes burning in desire. Then with a little cry she runs over and throws her arms about his (Eben’s)neck, she pulls his head back and covers his mouth with kisses.” (552). Also, in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, descriptions such as: “They stare at each other. Then they come together with low, animal moans. He falls on his knees on the step and presses his face to her belly (...) Her eyes go blind with tenderness as she catches his head and raises him level with her.” (154) show us that feeling ofdesire between Stella and Stanley.
Continuing with these two plays, we can say that carnal desire is not the unique type of desire we can notice in them. In “Desire under the Elms” we can also see a desire for possessions, for money, which is shown with all the characters. However, in “A streetcar Named Desire” we can perceive a desire for not being alone shown by the character ofBlanche; she is always searching for a person to share her life with.
Nonetheless, if we look at the other plays, we will see other types of desire, that can be shared among them or not. One of these types is the desire for being independent or doing things on your own way. This is the case of “Night’ Mother” or “ Flying’ West”. In both plays we can notice the fight of the main characters toget what they want. In “Night’ Mother” Jessie has decided to commit suicide as an act of independence from her mother. In “Flying’ West”, Sophie desires to be independent finally from the rule of white people; she has the desire of doing things on blacks way.
Then, we can distinguish another type of desire, the one for being understood or for being accepted. We can notice this type ofdesire in plays such as “The children’s hour”, “M. Butterfly”, “Angels in America” or “The goat, or who is Sylvia?” In this plays the main topic is always related with human relations, we are talking about homosexuality, zoophilia, pedophilia, etc. Because of this topic, characters use to have this desire of being understood, due to a lot of people even nowadays, do brand other people as differentjust because they have another sexual identity.
In addition, we can find other types of desire in these plays, for example, the desire for truth we can see in “The Children’s Hour”, when both Karen and Martha, want everyone knows that they are not lovers. Moreover, in “Angels in America” we can perceive the desire of life, overall with the characters of Harper and Prior. Harper has thatdesire of life, because she is all day at home, thinking that she has done something wrong that makes her husband reject her sexually. With Prior, we can see that desire for life because he has AIDS and he knows that he is going to die, but he is so in love with Louis that he just want to live and be with him. For both, dreams or hallucinations are the only form of escaping from their reality....