How Does Williams Present Stanley, Stella and Blanche in the Opening of the Play

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How Does Williams Present Stanley, Stella and Blanche in the Opening of the Play

Tennessee Williams, the playwright of A Streetcar Named Desire is renowned for his strong characterization. He uses many literary, as well as dramatic, techniques in order to fully develop his characters, including their pasts, their motives and also their mannerisms. Moreover, Williams pays special attention to the way in which characters interact with each other, and the effects that are created as a result of the drama. Blanche is a major character in the play. The playwright presents her through her outward appearance on stage, her actions, the literary features of her language and what we find out about her and her life. The dramatic techniques he uses are designed to help the audience build-up an opinion of her, and these include detailed stage directions that vividly describe exactly how he wants to portray his character. When Blanche first appears in ‘Elysian Fields', she is presented through her ‘incongruous' appearance: ‘She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat'

The dramatic contrast between her and the New Orleans setting creates tension in the scene. The audience is made immediately aware that Blanche does not belong in such an environment, and an ambience of awkwardness results. Her appearance ‘suggests a moth' and this adumbrates her tragic fate in the play.

Williams then exposes Blanche's high standards as a result of growing up in Belle Reve, a ‘great big place with white columns'. He does this through her reaction to Stella's apartment: ‘This-can this be-her home?' She cannot believe that the residence she has arrived at is where Stella is living, and this shows the audience that she is from a different class to the people of New Orleans, furthermore, the world that she has been forced to enter.

A very interesting dramatic technique that Williams employs is to...