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A Streetcar Named Desire: Analysis

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A Streetcar Named Desire: Analysis

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  • May 2008
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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.

Was Tennessee Williams a psychoanalyst too"

A crítica psicanalítica, em outras palavras, pode ir além da caça aos símbolos fálicos; ela nos pode dizer alguma coisa sobre a maneira pela qual os textos literários se formam, e revelar alguma coisa sobre o significado dessa formação. EAGLETON (1994: 192)

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.

In the book Teoria da Literatura: uma introdução by Terry Eagleton (1994), there is a chapter dedicated to psychoanalysis and I think that some of the topics referred to in that chapter need to be mentioned here before the most important symbols found in the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams are discussed.

One of the ideas discussed by Eagleton is that if after coming across psychoanalysis for the first time you happen to like it, it will probably become a useful tool to help you understand literature or films better, for example. Psychoanalysis is well-known to be able to help explain a number of pieces of art, especially when we have the author's biographical data to confront with their works.

But still, there is a whole host of literature theorists who believe that every piece of art has its own meaning and that they have no connection with the author's private life.

There is a famous quotation by Fernando Pessoa which reads: "o poeta é um fingidor ." If this is...