Discuss the dramatic devices Williams uses in the play to suggest that Blanche is doomed.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragedy that is unlike a traditional tragedy in that the characters in it are not struck by some calamity or fall because of unwise choices on their part. Instead, we enter the play in the delayed aftershocks of a tragedy that has befallen the main character, Blanche, as she attempts to hold on to whatever remnants of her beautiful past she can, but ultimately fails due to a combination of her past that catches up to haunt her, and also because of the rough-handed, misogynistic, and brutally pragmatic Stanley. Throughout the play, Williams hints and ultimately cements the idea that the audience will see Blanche fall. This is done through a blend of symbolism, character interaction, musical and auditory cues that foreshadow Blanche’s ultimate fall from beautiful to insane.
Blanche’s tragic past is hinted by Williams to audiences even in Scene 1 by the analogy of the names of the streetcars and place that Stella and Stanley live in. In Scene 1, Blanche tells Eunice about how she got to Stella and Stanley’s place; “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at – Elysian Fields” Blanche’s journey on New Orleans’ streetcars represents the journey of her own life up to now. The streetcar named desire is an allusion for the life she lived after her late husband, Allan, died. Blanche was a promiscuous woman who had sex with random men for the superficial attention she longed for. After, she transferred to a streetcar named Cemeteries, a name for a place of the dead. This must’ve represented that part of her life where she has been ostracised by her hometown of Laurel for her various affairs, that probably disrupted the social and marital affairs of those in the town. After all, that was the “death” of her time of “desire”. Finally, she arrives at Elysian Fields, Stella...
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