A Streetcar Named Desire - Commentary

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Ogulcan Bayol, 11-H

In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, Blanche the protagonist who is mentally fragile and depends on her sister’s help to overcome various adversities as her husband’s passing away and her paying many debts decides to move to New Orleans, where her sister lives. Throughout the play, Blanche, who is from a southern part called Laurel, strives to conform to society’s norms and attempts to find a man to marry her; but she is incapable of feeling involved in the scenery and as a consequence of that, she loses her mentality at the end of the play. In this specific passage, Blanche returns from a date with the character Mitch who desires to marry her to please his ill mother. Through this particular scene, Williams initiates to develop the relationship between the aforementioned characters to reveal that their relationship depends merely on mutual benefits rather than feelings. In this particular scene, Williams establishes the codependent relationship between Mitch and Blanche, which is founded on mutual loneliness and the desire to be with anyone, to demonstrate that society employs pressure on each and every individual to conform to its norms.

Initially, Williams assigns the elements of punctuation to highlight that the characters Blanche and Mitch are forced to have a relationship that only depends on the desire to be with anyone because of gender stereotypes that society puts forth. For instance, the playwright utilizes the element dash to demonstrate that Mitch and Blanche awkwardly hesitate to approach each other. Mitch states the line “Can I - uh - kiss you - good-night?”, and Blanche states the line “The one that says the lady must entertain the gentleman - or no dice!”. The dashes in these two quotes convey that both Mitch and Blanche appear to be hesitant and forced to be in this relationship. They tend to be indecisive about whether to finish their sentences or not. The characters’ uncertainty draws a...
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