Comparison of Streetcar Named Desire the Play and the Movie

1825 words 8 pages
Janet Ng
Professor Faunce
WRT 102
7 March 2012 Textual Analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire

Based on Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Elia Kazan creates an award winning movie that helps readers visualize Stanley’s primal masculinity, the inner torments of the Kowalski women and the clash of the other characters’ problems which create a chaotic mess. Using stage directions in the play, William hints that Blanche is not who she appears to be while the movie subtly sheds light on Blanche’s strange little habits that suggests a bigger issue. The movie also censors many of the main themes in Williams’ play but makes up for it by having its actors flawlessly portray the characters’ emotions, allowing the readers to see the
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William captures the problem of distressed women in our society through the portrayal of the rape scene between Stanley and Blanche. The scene exemplifies the power struggle between the two and is a representation of the society. No matter how hard she tries, she will always lose to men. Just like no matter how much women try, it will always be a male dominated world. In the movie, the rape scene is complemented with a dramatic soundtrack and dim lights that foreshadow what will happen. Blanche’s ruin is artistically depicted through the reflection of the mirror. Stanley is characterized as a manly character with temper issues and is constantly shown to explode in anger at Stella and Blanche whenever they step out of line. Part of this anger stems from his desire to maintain his idea of masculinity. His wife had always been obedient and under his control, but the minute this new woman comes in, he loses control of his Stella. He obviously feels threatened by her higher social class, otherwise he wouldn’t have felt the need to rape Blanche and regain alpha status in his household. A symbol of Stanley’s brutishness is shown when he walks into the house with his sweat stained shirt and proceeds to change in front of Blanche despite the fact that she was a guest. Back in the 1950s, the shirt that he wore was something that soldiers wore under their uniforms and not something worn on the outside. The outward display of his undergarment