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Symbolism, Poetic Realism and Poetic Tragedy in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' - Essay Example

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Symbolism, Poetic Realism and Poetic Tragedy in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Rather than let go of her illusions, or lose herself, Blanche descends into insanity, telling the doctor at the end of the play,
Blanche has a poetic quality in her speech, whereas Stanley is down-to-earth, crude and cruel, reflecting the brutality Williams has given him. When they talk together, they might really be trading punches or throwing stones at each other. In Scene 2, when he demands the papers regarding the loss of Belle Reve (Beautiful Dream, a major symbol) their exchange suggests a fight with more than mere words.
Her language never loses refinement, grammatical correctness or poetic inference, while Stanley appears to have little education or regard for the proper use of English. He relies on fact, she, on fantasy.
Blanche, white, for purity and truth, and light. She fears light, it will show her as she truly is and destroy the pure and beautiful facade she wants to create, especially for Mitch, yet she refers to the death of her young husband as,
She considers that time and that light in her life to constitute the purity and innocence she pretends to still possess. Making Mitch cover the light bulb with the Chinese lantern symbolizes her fear of exposure, her aging, her past, and her loss of all illusions. Her constant singing of 'Paper Moon is almost a cry for acceptance - 'but it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me'. How poignant those words become when Mitch confronts her with her lies and tries to rape her.
Both the polka and 'flores para los muertes' come together in Scene 9 as a powerful symbolic message of Blanche's loss. Sex and death are threaded throughout the play, and Blanche sees desire as the opposite of death to explain her sexual encounters with the young men back in Laurel. She is signing the death warrant of her dreams, of a life with Mitch. The polka, or Varsoviana Waltz is introduced on the night her husband killed himself, again sex and death linked, and it appears each time she speaks of him. As Stanley goads her closer to madness, we hear it, and she hears it in her head, together with the voices, music and noises of life outside Blanche's illusory
3.
world. The sounds are symbolic of her diminishing sanity, existing only in her head, or are they telling the audience what a harsh, wild place the real world can be Conversely, the 'blue piano' symbolizes life, sex, love and vitality for Stella and Stanley. It means life, the polka means death.
Elysian Fields, from Greek mythology is a happy resting place for ...Show more

Summary

When examining the 'poetic tragedy' to which Williams refers, we need to recognize that Blanche DuBois is the person whose tragedy we are about to witness, and that it contains the elements of a universal human experience. To involve the audience, make them think deeply about what is unfolding, Williams uses symbols, poetic lyricism and brilliant characterization…
Author : gladyce19
Symbolism, Poetic Realism and Poetic Tragedy in A Streetcar Named Desire essay example
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