A Streetcar Named Desire: Themes

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How effectively does the film portray the key themes and characters of Williams play? In 1949, Tennessee Williams released a novel entitled “A Streetcar named Desire”. Two years later Elia Kazan directed and released a movie based on the novel. She tried to recreate the film as closely as she could to the written play. How well did Kazan do this? Did she leave out key parts or did she cover them all? Did she model the characters perfectly according to the novel? Was she spot on or was she way off mark? Does time and era play a part? Are acting, filming techniques and movies different now compared to 1951? Does this create a biased response?

There were many themes in “A Streetcar named Desire”. One of them was violence. There was violence in the streets, the Hubble home and the Kowalski home. I felt that violence was clearer in the film because you see it. As violence is fairly confronting, the images of the film stay in your head. They are stronger in the film than how you can imagine it in your mind. Stanley was the most violent person, but I found that Stanley was violent less often. Therefore, this theme weakened. To me, there was less violence but it was more obvious. The same affect with male dominance. Scenes were added and removed, which weakened this theme. The last scene of the film completely contradicts the meaning of male dominance and female submission. The last scene, when the doctor takes Blanche away, is different in the film than in the book. In the book, Stella decides to trust her husband and stay with him, no matter what she has heard from her sister. In the film, Stella gains total control and runs away. She is no longer submissive to the man of the house. I believe that this tiny change alters many meanings of the story. Another relationship that contradicts this theme would be the Hubble’s. Eunice is clearly in charge in every circumstance. In the movie, this theme of male dominance and female submission does not exist. Fantasy and...
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