A Street Car Named Desire: An Overview

Topics: Southern United States, New South, Social class Pages: 3 (974 words) Published: December 11, 2013
How does Williams present the conflict between old and new in Scene 2? In this essay I would be evaluating how ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ explores the values of an Old South versus the contemporary South of the early Twentieth century. Blanche represents the Old South’s genteel manners, lady like behavior and old fashioned courtships. Stanley represents the New South’s ruthless pursuit of success and economic pragmatism. He is the symbol of the ‘American Dream’.

In scene two, there is a confrontation between Stanley and Blanche about her “perpetrating a swindle on Stella”. Stella thinks that Stanley that is being absolutely ridiculous when he searches Blanche’s bag and she feels she is ashamed by his low class status and asks him to behave. Stanley is a very blunt and straight forward person. Stella knows that this is typical in people from the ‘New Orleans’. She asks him to be sweet to Blanche by admiring her because in the old South, people are very hospitable. The use of language shows the difference between the characters in their class, background and the differences of social status and education as well as of personality. In A Streetcar Named Desire the very marked difference between Stanley and Blanche is stressed by Stanley's non-grammatical, rough, often slangy speech as against Blanche's high-flown English, and never lets us forget that she was an English teacher. I think she is a very poetic person which reflects on her romanticism. This in a way portrays the romantic and dreamy state of mind of the people from the Old South Stanley is more interested in the bill of sale from Belle Reve. Stella’s mention of the loss of Belle Reve seems to convince Stanley that Blanche is trying to hide some kind of theft. Stanley wants to know how Blanche could afford to buy the pearls and other jewels that are in the trunk. Stanley, the symbol of the New, works to support himself and his wife, while Blanche, the symbol of the old, no longer works in her former...
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