Death of a Salesman and Street Car Named Desire

Topics: Patriarchy, Truth, Blanche DuBois Pages: 10 (4004 words) Published: April 29, 2012
Biff: “will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens” Compare how the authors of Death of a salesman and “street car named desire explore the conflict between truth and illusion

Truth and illusion are utilized in Tennessee Williams “Streetcar Named Desire” and Arthur Miller's “Death of a salesman” through the use of the character; to lead the reader to a possible conclusion on the beliefs that went into the American dream that prompted people to work hard was that america was the land of opportunity while in fact that opportunity is used to manipulate those who follow this dream something that is most evidently shown in Millers main character Willy and to put forward a essential criticism of the materialistic dream that surround the characters of “Death of a salesman” and the theme of desire and that stems from “Streetcar named desire”, and the concepts that went into the these dream which became corrupted by both material wealth and a male dominated society.

In both Death of a Salesman and a Streetcar Named desire the main protagonist of the play, blanche dubois and Willy loman are both trapped in a illusion that are created by the effects of society, however these illusions that are created are used by their protagonists for separate reasons. Blanche uses the illusion as a deffence mechanism against those who suppress her in society while Willy simply is not fully consciously aware that he is even subjected to the illusion of a land of opportunity. Williams and Miller both use the stage directions as dramatic techniques to identify the illusion created by the two protagonists but in contrasting ways; Williams uses the stage direction as a way of highlighting the harshness of a patriarchal society, ultimately criticizing it while Miller critics the American dream by highlight the illsuion it creates over someone makeing them un aware to consciously idenntify the truth. Blanche has trapped herself in a maze of illusions to protect her from the harshness of a male dominated patriarchal society . An obstacle which even she of all fantastical thinking optimists would have to face. Blanche's ignorance towards reality and the truth for that matter spelled out her demise and tragic end at the hands of Stanley, the most patriarchal character presented in Williams novel, While Willy created an illusory world to protect himself from the reality that the dream that has presented him with the false truth of success, has resulted in failure and results with Willy secluding himself from reality by shrouding the truth with lies and retreating into past memories and is comparable to Blanche's world of illusion and fantastical thinking, which is characterized by her: flirtatious relations, attempt to rejuvenate her youth, and ignorance towards the realities of life. In “street car named desire” the first few scenes there are several references both in the dialogue and in the stage directions to her drinking. Arguably drink is one of the many ways Blanche uses to escape reality, a reality of the past that burdens her due to her husbands death of her own hands. The dramatic technique used to emphise this is the sound effect used to convey an atmosphere; the “Varsouviana Polka” calls up and accompanies blanches guilty memories of her husband and the revolver that silences it. What distinguishes them from other sound effects is that blanche alone can hear them, an aspect that is very difficult to convey either on that stage or on the printed page. When she drinks she can forget and when she forgets she is free and can forget her past and the things that she has done. In scene one as soon as she greets Stella before they really get talking she says 'Open your pretty mouth and talk while I look around for some liquor'. She feels she needs the drink to be able to talk because without it she is nothing. Only Mitch’s question “ what music?” in the later scence 9 tries to put across the message that the polka plays...
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