Psychoanalytical Study of "A Streetcar Named Desire"

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Summary: An analysis of some of the many symbols found in "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams, with the help of psychoanalytical theory. Williams' expert use of these symbols helped him to convey the meaning of many characteristics of the protagonists in the play. It is very debatable nowadays how much psychology can influence an author or how much the author's psychological features can influence his work. The creation of a character demands different kinds of information and the most important part of this process happens when the psychological aspects of the character are put together to meet his life history up to that moment when the story is happening.When A Streetcar Named Desire is read by someone who knows something about Williams' life, it becomes quite an easy task to find similarities between his life and the characters in the play. Some of these similarities are:

Tennessee Williams had a sister who collapsed psychologically and had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, and this fact made him feel guilty about having abandoned her.Stella, in the play, also feels guilty about abandoning her sister, Blanche, when a doctor is called at the end of the play, and he takes her to a psychiatric hospital. •Williams' grandparents came from a declining aristocratic background. Again, in the play, it is associated with Stella and Blanche's declining aristocratic family too. •Blanche is always on the verge of collapsing psychologically, and so is Williams in real life. •Williams had to leave his parents' house and move to another city in order to "get out of the closet" and try to live a happier life.Blanche also had to move to another city, and she also did it looking for a better life after her eviction from Belle Reve and her ostracism from Laurel due to her immoral past.

Symbols in A Streetcar Named Desire

But, what are symbols? What does symbolism represent in psychoanalysis? Symbols are all around us. We use symbols to...
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