Passion in Streetcar named desire and Enduring love

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‘Desire is both liberating and imprisoning’. Compare and contrast the ways in which two of your chosen writers present relationships in the light of this comment Tennessee William’s ‘A Street Named Desire’ explores and contrasts two settings, the more accepting, and open minded society and the ‘Southern Belle’ in urban New Orleans 1940, while Ian McEwan’s ‘Enduring Love’ is about endurance, or survival, and sets love in its different forms, from unconditioned, romantic, idealised and obsessive. In contrast to William’s play, McEwan’s novel is set in late twentieth century Britain, aiming at dealing with timeless concerns such as morality and love, while the play focuses on social realism. Associating the main characters, both texts involved different forms of love as its ‘liberating and imprisoning’. Interlopers appear in both texts, creating a triangle of characters of which change the dynamics of a stable relationship and test the essence of their love. While McEwan’s novel ‘Enduring Love’ focuses on the theme love, it also emphasises how love can be obsessive and intimidating as it can be supportive and redeeming. In many ways, the novel is a compelling study of an individual who has to endure love that is unreciprocated. Williams’ ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ is a mixture of sex, violence and morality. As some reviews make clear, it was to some extent a ‘success de scandale’, dealing with sex and desire something at that time was not encouraged till the emergence of this play. In the opening chapter in ‘Enduring Love’, Joe explains running towards a balloon as ‘sprinting away from our happiness’ revealing the significance of the event. Infact from that point onwards, the relationship of Clarissa and Joe deteriorates just like the balloon quickly gets out of control and dives into danger, so does their relationship. Similarly to William’s play, the infiltrator is Blanche, her appearance is made significant as she beholds clear class snobbery, with the desperation to flirt. Although indifference to ‘Enduring Love’s’ unknown intruder at the time, Blanche is Stella’s sister, Jed is a complete stranger to Clarissa and Joe. She is focused on as the stage directions describe her more in detail than any other character. It was important for Williams to be descriptive in the stage directions as he wanted the reader to easily imagine it. As Blanche arrives in Elysian Fields, it is significant to note that in classical mythology Elysian Fields are equivalent to paradise. As ‘Enduring Love’s’ setting was situated around a runaway balloon signifying the happiness going away, Elysian Fields are an obvious irony as they are the dwelling-place of the dead. That is shown later on into the play, as her fate will be the living death of the asylum. After the balloon incident in ‘Enduring Love’, social misfit Jed Perry fixates on the main protagonist, rational Joe Rose. Joe’s fate goes downhill as the two initially meet, introducing to the reader a de Clerambault sufferer who develops an erotic obsession with Joe. Joe becomes entrapped by Jed’s obsession. As Joe starts to become aware of it, neither Clarissa nor the reader are quite sure on whether Jed is in fact stalking Joe, or Joe is fabricating the story. Clarissa, a beautiful, intellectually independent woman of decided opinion who is potentially Joe’s love of life, does not believe him about Jed which becomes the underlying problem to their relationship. McEwan says that ‘Novels often end with the message that the one who trusted her heart wins through, when in life clear thinking and the rational see you through.’ This relates as although Joe suffered to interpret emotions correctly, his rational mind still allowed him to see through and come to terms with Jed’s Erotomania. On the other hand, despite Clarissa intellectual traits, she failed to read the sign of danger accurately until she was bluffed by a threat to her life. The dominant theme in ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ is...
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