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A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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Tennessee Williams vividly describes mid-twentieth century New Orleans, as he perceived it, through his play ?A Streetcar Named Desire?. His primary goal in the first scene seemed to be to portray the vast difference between the inhabitants of a city, New Orleans, and the more country-inclined folk, like the main character, Blanche Dubois. However in order to effectively do this, he was sure to set a striking scene.

The stage directions in the play reveal much about Williams? intentions. His opening leads the audience instantly round to a particular opinion of the scene, using mainly positive adjectives while describing the setting, such as ?The section is poor but unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm.? This extract reveals Williams? intention of leading the audience away from looking down upon the scene, taking the emphasis off the word ?poor? and making it seem written merely in passing, while the main point is the ?raffish? charm the section possesses. Another example, taken from the same passage is; ?The sky that shows around the dim white building is a peculiarly tender blue?? Once again we see the over-shadowing of a negative phrase ?the dim white building? by a positive one, ?a peculiarly tender blue.? It is not merely imagery that Williams uses to draw the audience into the play. He also describes the smells the characters would encounter; ??faint redolences of bananas and coffee.? These two smells on their own would be very open to individual interpretation were it not for the words preceding it. The author?s choosing of ?faint? over alternatives such as ?hanging? or ?intrusive? and ?redolences? as opposed to ?odours? suggests a deliberate attempt to once again win the audience over to admiring this scene, with their more positive connotations. Also, Williams? description of the background noise in the scene follows the trend of a quaintly flawed environment, as the ?tinny piano being played? gently encourages...