Within the play Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennessee Williams, the lives and relationship of Blanche DuBois and Stella Kowalski are plotted out in a scene of events that depicts astute betrayal and out of the ordinary family matters. Based on the time period of this play, that being of the Old South conservative dominated region of New Orleans with local and national aristocracy still in heavy play, the traditions play out in a way that involve a simple family dispute turning in to Blanche being carried out by the psychiatric ward.
Blanche’s forthcomings predicted by her misfortune are carried along to the Kowalski family. These misfortunes are stifled as much as possible and are avoided at the cost of the integrity of Blanche herself. Blanche’s stay is short lived with all of the drama that happened while new characters are introduced such as Shep Huntleigh, the millionaire, and Mitch, the sneaky best friend of Stanely Kowalski’s. In terms of prescriptive criticism, I would personally augment the plot in a direction that would take a more in-depth dramatization of the deterioration of Blanche’s and Stella’s family relationship.
The intricate characters that create this classic play are all blend together as one big happy distorted family. Blanche’s character is definitely that of a round character that shows characteristics of somebody that has some mental issues that root from the suicide of her recent husband, which led to her promiscuous behavior at her previous town. Stella, on the other hand, has her situation more in control than Blanche does. The family household that Stella and her husband, Stanely, were happily running, before Blanche calmly forced herself in to, lived up to the standards of the typical American home in New Orleans.
Aside from Stella’s beginning characteristics of being the big sister that knows better, she deviates from traditions and becomes promiscuous with the new character, Mitch, which is introduced at the time of Stanely’s favorite past time: a poker game. Mitch twists the plot around to where Blanche’s misfortune is being radiated to the, what used to be, happy family. Mitch’s character is that of a persistent lovebird that attaches himself to the demise of Blanche.
Stanely’s role is generally expressed when he blows up during one of his poker games when he observes the chemistry that is going on between Blanche and Mitch in the bedroom. The characters Williams designed were effective, although a few changes could prove to be positive. Mitch’s personality could have been more persuasive and impeding on the Kowalski household. Aside from Mitch, if the character that constructed Blanche spanned out to where nobody knew about her past until the end, it would of built up a feeling of suspense and confusion about where her mental issues came from.
The main theme that shows to be prevalent throughout this play involves accepting the facts of reality. Blanche’s life unravels after the turn of events involving her husband and other misfortunes. Her denial of her own shortcomings and weak points such as alcohol, sexual promiscuity, as well as her inflated ego, all equate to why she ends up in the situation that concludes the play. This specific theme for the play shows through in every character, not just simply that of Blanche. Stanely’s denial is shown throughout his macho appearance, supplemented by his reprimanding personality.
His inability to see these specific characteristics within himself is labeled as his detachment from reality. Moving along with the theme of distorted reality accompanied by personal denial, Stella has also got a growing problem. Stella follows more of a degenerated path. Her beginning observations about the setting that she lives in involve more complacent and comfortable diction. She understands the fact that her shabby apartment does not label her as that of a poor slum girl that is just squeaking by on meager revenue.
Although, as the play progresses, Stella begins to accept the feelings of denial that are dormant throughout all of the drama. She refuses to believe the actions of Stanely and Blanche nearing the end as well as the rugged path that Blanche supposedly states to have lived. The theme works perfect for the characters that Williams designed. Based on prescriptive criticism, I would have to create the same theme based on the fact that the pieces fall perfect and the plot lays the steppingstones to this specific theme.
The diction that is utilized by Tennessee Williams fits right in with the time place that is being specifically depicted. William’s takes advantage of the wit that has been encapsulated within the relationship of Blanche and Stella. Their wit shows copious amounts of sarcasm, tradition, and typical back talk. The specific diction that Williams uses acts as the main shaping tool for the characters that tend to be a bit difficult to understand. This Old South diction has to do with reactions to certain events that would be treated differently back in those days, such as playing poker with women in the house.
The literature is fairly straight forward in terms of being fancy or not, it delivers the effective message and sets the mood of a great big family dispute. If the diction was in my control, there could have possibly been more of a modern twist on the specific words. The issue of the sarcasm and wit being too bland or lacking substance, is easily fixed by replacing them with more relative terms and sentences. Throughout the play, the mood was primarily set through the verbal diction and character roles that I just could not wait to find out where they would end up.
To act as a very efficient compliment to the play as a whole, the music selection found a comfortable median between soothing jazz and old time mysterious musical scores. The reasoning behind this choice of music would have to be based solely on the time period that Williams put his pen to the paper. The choice of jazz encases the growth as well as degeneration of integrity throughout the characters and their actions. There really is no substitute for the music choice of the play since it really does match the mood in every aspect.
The mysterious music score is necessary because there has to be some type of suspense that involves figuring out the character’s personalities and actions as a whole. Aside from all other aspects of the play that have been discussed, the visual elements were some of the most important that separate it from failure to success. The characters were displayed by the setting that was designed with material and objects that would belong back when the Old South was prevalent. This includes material that would be considered luxuries back in New Orleans dominated by right-wing slums.
The cleanliness was outlined with the conservative notion and it also went along with the somewhat traditional lifestyle that the Kowalski family attempted to live. The loud colors that were worn by the men throughout the play show that of a domineering character and play hand in hand with an alpha figure. The dark and solemn colors worn by the Stella represented her calm nature that progressed throughout the play as the events span out in order. This could also be related to the role that women played back in the reality of this day and age.
Blanche on the other hand, comes from a totally different lifestyle which includes that of extravagant colors. The difference between Blanche’s style and Stella’s lack of flamboyance is used as a crucial blueprint as to where they each derive from in actuality. If the visual aspects were under my control, I would have given the women a bit more of an intricate theme of clothes. The role within the play of Stella and Blanche served as way too integral to have them wearing bland and clothes lacking the amount of diversity that was shown throughout the diction that Williams expressed.