A Streetcar Named Desire. Scene 10

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Explore how Williams builds up to the inevitable rape of Blanche in Scene 10. Consider his use of setting, character and stage directions in your answer.

Old and new, weak and aggressive, intellect and brute force: Blanche and Stanley. The battle between old and new America in the 1940’s was in full flow and the triumph of the new was assured. The constant battle between Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’s main characters, Blanche Du’Bois and Stanley Kowalski, reflects the changing of America. “Stanley carries his bowling jacket and a red-stained package from a butchers.” This quote gives us the first impression of the man of the play. There is huge significance in the fact that Stanley sports a ‘red-stained package.’ It shows that he is the one who goes out hunting, he brings home the ‘meat’ in this household and he is the primary hunter who is always the top of the food chain. He controls what happens in his territory. This and the quote describing Stanley as a ‘Richly feathered bird,’ symbolises an animalistic and primeval man of prehistoric times. There are many references to Stanley’s wild manner throughout the play, by Stella describing him as ‘a different species’ and the constant ‘grunts, ‘roars and ‘bellowing’ that he vocalises. Blanche’s introduction to ‘Streetcar’ gives us the opposing battle. “She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party.” Her whole attire suggests purity and innocence. ‘Daintily dressed’ in white clothing tells us that the character of Blanche takes the form of a delicate young woman of a higher class. “Something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggest a moth." Being compared to a moth shows us more about Blanches character in many ways. The most obvious of which is that of her white clothes. Being compared with a moth tells us that she is...
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