A Streetcar Named Desire
Commentary of Key Extract from Scene 5
Published in 1946 by Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), A Streetcar Named Desire reflects the cultural problems that pervaded the USnation after the devastating World War II, when an ambitious rising country proved its superiority and power to the global community. The playwright attempted to reflect the lives of three commoncitizens, Stella DuBois Kowalski, Stanley Kowalski, living a troubled marriage and Blanche DuBois, who flew Belle Reve trying to reconstruct her wrecked life. The extract of scene 5 generates a sense ofgrowing tension, portraying hints of a possible conflict between the trhree protagonists.
Throughout the cut out, the author represents a typical scenario where Blanche and Stanley play the main role.Stanley’s direct questioning about Blanche’s acquaintances brings out her nervous self, demonstrating the first suggestion of a shadowy past. As the conversation flows, the tension increases; theuncertainty of Stanly with each of Blanche “evasive” answers, and the growing concern of Blanche upon the interrogation.
The language throughout all of the play is common and simple. Thesecharacteristics make the reader fully connect with the characters and the situations they are living, so it is easier to understand their emotions and thoughts. “The language of the characters in the play is themost important way of defining their nature, their social status and their emotional make-up” . In this scene, although the way the characters communicate does not change, the words behind the wordsthey say demonstrate a meaning much deeper than they seem. The extract opens with Steve, Stanley´s friend and neighbor, saying “That rutting hunk!” (p.76) demonstrating the difference of nature,thought and class between the neighbors of New Orleans and Blanche´s higher class and delicate, almost lyric way of speaking, reflected on the lines “I’m compiling a notebook of quaint little words and...
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