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Compare Contrast Essay Street Car Named Desire

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Comparing Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams is one of the greatest American playwrights. He was constantly shocking audiences with themes such as homosexuality, drug addictions, and rape. He broke free from taboos on such subjects, paving the way for future playwrights.

Williams wrote about his life. The Glass Menagerie is a very autobiographical play. A Streetcar Named Desire, although meant to a play that anyone can relate to, also contained characters and situations from his life. In both plays, the characters are drawn from his life. This essay will discuss is the similarities between The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, which have similar characters and themes throughout them.…show more content…

In the end, he leaves them to join the Merchant Marines. However he is always haunted by feelings of guilt from leaving his sister.

A theme that is consistent throughout both of these plays is the fact that there are two women, both southern, who are pretending to be in a world where they are still graceful, still beautiful. Both of these women are very strong characters. A Streetcar Named Desire is entirely focused on Blanche and her delusions. Towards the end of The Glass Menagerie, Amanda reverts back to being the most popular girl in Blue Mountain. She is also assuming that the gentleman caller will take on look at Laura and want to marry her, thus securing Amanda and Laura’s future. Both of these women characters are very strong. Since Williams’ sister Rose and mother were the only women with whom he had a deep relationship with, his female characters tend to take on their qualities. Williams was homosexual, so he didn’t spend much time with women. In The Glass Menagerie, the two female characters where obviously his mother and his sister. At the end of the play, Tom feels guilty about leaving his sister, which is how Williams felt about Rose his whole life. In the play, Tom left because he was afraid his mother would drive him crazy. This was a fear that Williams lived with his entire life. He was afraid of going crazy like his sister.

Another theme that is common throughout the two plays is the strong man. Stanley is

Comparison of Streetcar Named Desire the Play and the Movie

1850 WordsApr 2nd, 20128 Pages

Janet Ng
Professor Faunce
WRT 102
7 March 2012 Textual Analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire

Based on Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Elia Kazan creates an award winning movie that helps readers visualize Stanley’s primal masculinity, the inner torments of the Kowalski women and the clash of the other characters’ problems which create a chaotic mess. Using stage directions in the play, William hints that Blanche is not who she appears to be while the movie subtly sheds light on Blanche’s strange little habits that suggests a bigger issue. The movie also censors many of the main themes in Williams’ play but makes up for it by having its actors flawlessly portray the characters’ emotions, allowing the readers to see the…show more content…

By showing his readers the downfall of depending on men, Tennessee Williams is sending out a clear message to women to stand up for themselves and to be independent. In contrast, the movie supports independence by having Stella stand up for her newborn baby and herself by leaving Stanley. Why the stark difference you ask? Back in the 1950s, the rape scene was considered controversial and taboo so the director Elia Kazan was forced to punish Stanley by having his wife leave him at the end of the film. Even the slight suggestion of a rape scene necessitated Stanley’s punishment. Realistically, Stella would’ve stayed with Stanley because she had no support for herself or the baby. Blanche’s and Stella’s reliance on men and inability to support themselves are used to illustrate the subliminal pressure for women to follow society’s norms. Women without men are seen as weak, and those who break away from their rigid social classes are looked down upon. Since these social norms have been instilled into Blanche, she believes that she has to have a man fawn over her feet at all times. She realizes that she is aging and thus by engaging in sexual trysts with men, she thinks that she is still wanted and that she still has a place in society despite her current status. “After the death of Allan - intimacies with strangers was

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