The Analysis of the Mythic Dimension in ‘a Streetcar Named Desired’

Topics: Southern United States, Blanche DuBois, Stanley Kowalski Pages: 16 (6094 words) Published: January 13, 2013
The Analysis of the Mythic dimension in ‘A Streetcar Named Desired’ Background
This paper tells about American South which exposed in A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennesse Williams. The changes were drawn from the life experience of the main characters in the play, named Blanche Du Bois. Here, we try to explore about the analysis of the main character, Blanch Du Bois. Problem and its Scope

This study principally constitus the analyze of the myth in a play that written by Tennese William entitled ‘A Streecar Named Desire’.
This study explores the mythic dimension of one of Tennessee Williams’s best-known and most enduring plays. The author’s revival of ancient myths and archetypes in Streetcar illustrates his professed belief in the collective unconscious as the source of his richly symbolic dramas. The conflict between the main characters is endowed with universal significance—the clash of two rival myths vying for dominance in Williams’s imagination. While Stanley Kowalski is presented as a modern day avatar of Dionysus, the amoral, primitive god of drink and fertility, Blanche DuBois’s descent into the underworld of Elysian Fields makes her the failed embodiment of the guilt-ridden, inconsolable Orpheus. A yearning for the reconciliation of opposites is ultimately revealed in the myth of the androgyn, the third substratum of Streetcar and the spring of Williams’s alchemical art. MYTHOLOGY can be defined as a body of interconnected myths, or stories, told by a specific cultural group to explain the world consistent with a people’s experience of the world in which they live. [The word “myth” comes from the ancient Greek word meaning “story” or “plot,” and was applied to stories sacred and secular, invented and true.]  Myths often begin as sacred stories that "offer supernatural explanations for the creation of the world . . . and humanity, as well as for death, judgment, and the afterlife" ("Myth" 284). A mythology or belief system often concerns supernatural beings/powers of a culture, provides a rationale for a culture’s religion and practices, and reflects how people relate to each other in everyday life.  Creation or origin myths explain how the world came to be in its present form, and often position "the cultural group telling the myth" as the first people or the "true" people ("Myth" 284).  Such sacred stories, or narratives, concern where a people and the things of their world come from, why they are here, where they are going. Myths and mythology express a culture’s worldview: that is, a people’s conceptions and assumptions about humankind’s place in nature and the universe, and the limits and workings of the natural and spiritual world. 

The classic definition of myth from folklore studies finds clearest delineation in William Bascom’s article “The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives” where myths are defined as tales believed as true, usually sacred, set in the distant past or other worlds or parts of the world, and with extra-human, inhuman, or heroic characters. Such myths, often described as “cosmogonic,” or “origin” myths, function to provide order or cosmology, based on “cosmic” from the Greek kosmos meaning order (Leeming 1990, 3, 13; Bascom, 1965). Cosmology’s concern with the order of the universe finds narrative, symbolic expression in myths, which thus often help establish important values or aspects of a culture’s worldview. For many people, myths remain value-laden discourse that explain much about human nature.

The concept of Myth in the literature is The word ‘myth’ is derived from the Greek word ‘mythos’, which means a traditional tale common to the member of a tribe, race or nation. It usually involves the supernatural elements to explain some natural phenomenon in boldly imaginative terms. Today myth has become one of the most prominent terms in contemporary literature analysis. It was Northrop Frye, one of the most influential myth critics (others including Robert...
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