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Lecture on ‘Streetcar’: Love and Hate

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1 Lecture on ‘Streetcar’: Love and Hate
Paper 3 The Individual and Society

2 CA 4: Comparative Analysis of Set Texts Section B, Elective Paper 3
The Individual and Society With close and detailed reference to any two texts you have studied, analytically compare the ways they present the response of individuals to the demands and challenges of social pressures and normative constraints.

3 Some elaboration of question focus
Norms of behaviour Violations of norms of behaviour

4 From The Prague Cemetery a novel by Umberto Eco
Who Am I? 24th March 1897 I feel a certain embarrassment as I settle down here to write, as if I were baring my soul, at the command of – no, by God! Let us say on the advice of – a German Jew (or Austrian, though it’s all the same). Who am I? Perhaps it is better to ask me about my passions, rather than what I’ve done in my life. Whom do I love? No one comes to mind. I know I love good food: just the name Tour d’Argent makes me quiver all over. Is that love?

5 From The Prague Cemetery a novel by Umberto Eco
Whom do I hate? I have known Germans, and even worked for them: the lowest conceivable level of humanity. A German produces on average twice the faeces of a Frenchman. Hyperactivity of the bowel at the expense of the brain, which demonstrates their physiological inferiority. During times of barbaric invasion, the Germanic hordes strewed their route with great masses of faecal material. Even in recent centuries, French travellers knew when they had crossed the Alsace frontier by the abnormal size of the turds along the roads and it’s been shown that the urine of a German contains twenty per cent nitrogen while that of other races has only fifteen.

6 (Cont) from Chapter 23 “For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home, or on your doorstep. Hence the Jews, Divine Providence has given them to us and so, by God, let us use them and pray there’s always some Jew to fear and hate. We need an enemy to give people hope. Someone said that patriotism is the last refuge of cowards: those without moral principles usually wrap a flag around themselves, and the bastards always talk about the purity of the race. National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred for those who are not the same.

7 Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion
Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion The enemy is the friend of the people. You always want someone to hate in order to feel justified in your own misery. Hatred is the true primordial passion. It is love that’s abnormal. That is why Christ was killed: he spoke against nature. You don’t love someone for your whole life – that impossible hope is the source of adultery, matricide, betrayal of friends But you can hate someone for your whole life – provided he’s always there to keep your hatred alive. Hatred warms the heart.”

8 ‘There are things that can be said in fiction that are unsayable in a work of philosophy.’
- Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider

9 Section B Comparison of Texts Question
The texts used in this section cannot be used in Section C. Imagine you have been asked this question: Love and hate are the defining characteristics of individual-society interaction Compare the ways and the extent to which any two texts you have studied represent and reflect this state of affairs in human relationships.

10 Concerns; Techniques; Effects
Concerns; Issues? Through the characters, Williams explores issues concerning a segment of society in the American South; Williams creates a particular version of this world in order to foreground problems and issues he recognized in American society; Concerns related to Paper 3 Theme: Individual and Society Literary and Dramatic Techniques; (Pattern Awareness) Dramatic Effects – what desired effect or audience response does the playwright wish to achieve? Internal Effects; External Effects; Overall Effects; Comparative Analysis: ‘Streetcar’ and ‘Othello’

11 Concerns; Techniques; Effects
What are the central concerns of this or that play For example, the theme of Love and Hate How are such themes represented to the audience? Through words, gestures, and deeds of characters For example through love-speech and hate-speech; imagery representing love or hate; And to what effect…audience response – does the playwright wish or intend to achieve?

12 Animal; Insect, Bird, and Plant Imagery
Othello Streetcar ‘Wild-cats in your kitchens’ Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys / As salt as wolves in pride ‘With as a little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio;’ Hawks ‘If I do prove her haggard’ ‘He says you have been lapping it all summer like a wild-cat’ Tiger—tiger! Is he a wolf? Lilies; and Laurels Tarantula Flamingos – ironically suggestive of florid (yet lurid) and exaggerated displays;

13 Concepts of Love and Hate? Different Senses and Degrees
Sources / objects of Hatred; Hatred of what? Figures or Symbols of Authority; Conventions; Injustice; unfairness; hypocrisy; favoritism; Men loving yet hating women; Hatred of women, particularly prostitutes; Hatred of the ‘Other’ Love of what? Love, Lechery, and Lust Love of women; Love of power, money, and wealth; love of societal prestige;

14 Love and Hate The Love to Hate
Othello has been described as ‘An invasion of love by hate’, and a depiction of the degradation of love between man and woman. (and what of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’?) The theme of Love and Hate is closely connected with the theme of Good versus Evil, and Jealousy; Iago describes love as “merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.’

15 Love and Hate Comparative Analysis
OTHELLO STREETCAR Othello’s love of Desdemona Iago’s hatred of Othello; yet ironically Iago declares his love for Othello; ‘My lord, you know I love you.’ Iago pours pestilence into Othello’s ears; Othello in turn seeks proof from Iago that his wife is unfaithful, and a strumpet; ‘Villain, be sure to prove my love a whore.’ Stanley’s love of Stella Blanche’s hatred of Stanley Blanche similarly tries to poison Stella’s mind regarding Stanley; Stanley in turn tries to poison Stella’s mind re Blanche, on grounds she is a prostitute;

16 Love, Hate, and Societal Relationships
Society’s patriarchal construction / shaping of acceptable / desirable female identities; Society tolerates women of loose virtue in its midst; Many ordinary, ‘normal’ heterosexual men tolerate and love their presence in society; But not as wives; not as family members, or family relations in the midst of marriage and the family; At the same time, society tolerates men being sexually unfaithful or heterosexually deviant; Masculine identity and morality socially constructed / shaped differently from that of the feminine; Abnormal Love? Abnormal Hate? (and Society)

17 Love and Hate in Relationships
How are you socially constructed as an individual in terms of – Social class / status; education; wealth; power Gender; nationality / ethnicity / race (Moor or Polack) All of which affects society’s perceptions and expectations of you; You can be loved or loathed by being male or female; local or foreign; rich or poor; powerful or powerless; enlightened or ignorant; refined or rough etc Or loved and hated simultaneously, sometimes in equal measure

18 All this Love and Hate Taking Place Where?
Noteworthy is its invisibility, or lesser visibility; Taking place in the private sphere In the shadow lands of Society (e.g. the Cyprus of the play, Othello) The margins of Society (In Streetcar the poor French quarter of New Orleans) In the private sphere as much as in the public, Patriarchy is the monarchy of the everyday world

19 Scene 5 p46 Blanche: You’re—you’re—so good to me! And I—
Blanche: You hate me to talk sentimental. But honey, believe I feel more than I tell you! I won’t stay long. I won’t, I promise I—

20 Scene 6 p55 He hates me Blanche: And he has to put up with me, apparently so much against his wishes Surely he must have told you how much he hates me! Mitch: I don’t think he hates you. Blanche: He hates me. Or why would he insult me? Of course there is such a thing as the hostility of—perhaps in some perverse kind of way he—No! To think of it makes me [She makes a gesture of revulsion. Then she finishes her drink. A pause follows.]

21 Stella to Stanley in Scene 7 p58
Stanley, stop picking on Blanche. Lately you’ve been doing all you can think of to rub her the wrong way, Stanley, and Blanche is sensitive.

22 Some Significant Encounters Scene 8
Mr. Kowalski is too busy making a pig of himself to think of anything else! That’s right, baby. Your face and your fingers are disgustingly greasy Go and wash up and then help me clear the table.

23 He hurls a plate to the floor
That’s how I’ll clear the table! [He seizes her arm.] Don’t ever talk that way to me! “Pig—Polack—disgusting—vulgar—greasy!” them kind of words have been on your tongue and your sister’s too much around here! What do you think you are? A pair of queens? Remember what Huey Long said— “Every Man is a King! And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it! [He hurls a cup and saucer to the floor.]

24 The poisoning scene and Verbal  Dramatic Effects
Lie Number One: All this squeamishness she puts on! But Sister Blanche is no lily! Ha-ha! Some lily she is! She is famous in Laurel as if she was the President of the United States, only she is not respected by any party! This supply-man stops at a hotel called the Flamingo. Stella protests: My sister lived at Belle Reve.

25 But let’s recall Stage Directions introducing Stanley in Scene 1 p13
Stanley throws the screen door of the kitchen open and comes in. He is of medium height, about five feet eight or nine, and strongly, compactly built. Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his movements and attitudes. Since earliest manhood the centre of his life has been pleasure with women, the giving and taking of it, not with weak indulgence, dependently, but with the power and pride of a richly feathered male bird among hens. Branching out from this complete and satisfying centre are all the auxiliary channels of his life, such as his heartiness with men, his appreciation of rough humour, his love of good drink and food and games, his car, his radio, everything that is his, that bears his emblem of the gaudy seed-bearer. He sizes up women at a glance, with sexual classifications, crude images, flashing into his mind…

26 All the while Blanche is singing - ‘but it wouldn’t be make-believe if you believed in me’
This is after the home-place had slipped through her lily-white fingers! She moved to the Flamingo! A second class-hotel which has the advantage of not interfering in the private social life of personalities there! The Flamingo is used for all kinds of goings-on. But even the management was impressed by Dame Blanche! In fact they were so impressed by Dame Blanche that they requested her to turn in her room-key—for permanently!

27 Dramatic Effects Internal? External?
Stella: What contemptible lies. What—contemptible—lies! Stanley: Sure, I can see how you would be upset by this. She pulled the wool over your eyes as much as Mitch’s! Stella: It’s pure invention! There’s not a word of truth in it and if I were a man and this creature had dared to invent such things in my presence—

28 Stella draws back upon hearing…
Honey, I told you I thoroughly checked on these stories! Now wait till I finished. The trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn’t put on her act any more in Laurel! They got wised up after two or three dates with her and they quit, and she goes on to another, the same old lines, same old act, same old hooey! But the town was too small for this to go on forever! And as time went by she became a town character. Regarded as not just different but downright loco—nuts.

29 Note Stella’s response Scene 7
I don’t believe all these stories and I think your supply-man was mean and rotten to tell them It’s possible that some of things he said are partly true.

30 Iago lies to Othello in Act 4 Scene 1
Othello: With her? Iago: Lie with her? On her. What you will. Lie with her? Lie on her. We say lie on her When they belie her. Lie with her – Zounds, That’s fulsome. Handkerchief – confessions – Handkerchief! To confess and be hanged for his Labour -

31 Words of Hate in Deed In the final scenes of both plays
In Streetcar, Stanley rapes Blanche and thereafter has her committed to an Institution for the insane; In Othello, Othello following his threat to chop Desdemona into messes, he smothers her to death. Both female characters are victims of masculinist hatred and violence for failing to conform to patriarchal conceptions of ideal womanhood;

32 Blanche in Scene 10 But I have been foolish—casting pearls before swine! Yes, swine! Swine! And I’m thinking of not only you but of your friend, Mr. Mitchell And to repeat slander to me, vicious stories he had gotten from you. But some things are not forgivable Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never , never been guilty.

33 Othello Act 5, Scene 2 Soft you a word or two before you go. Speak of me as I am; Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Of one, not easily jealous, but being wrought Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe;

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