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Kelso High School A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

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Presentation on theme: "Kelso High School A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kelso High School A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams

2 A Streetcar named Desire

3 Scene Two This scene is important as in this scene the groundwork is laid for the conflicts which follow:- Stanley’s jealousy and suspicion Blanche’s ignorance of the effect her behaviour has on people Both the motive and means for Blanche’s destruction are now becoming clear as Williams prepares the ground for the inevitable calamity

4 Characterisation - Blanche

5 Characterisation: Blanche The audience’s compassion for Blanche increases as Williams reveals just how destitute she is by showing that all her belongings in the world amount to a trunk full of cheap dresses, fake furs and costume jewellery

6 Characterisation: Blanche Blanche takes the first of many baths in this scene. She says that steaming hot baths are necessary to calm her nerves. Yet, Blanche’s constant need to wash her body symbolises her need for emotional, spiritual and mental cleansing. On one level this habit is extremely irritating to the other inhabitants of the apartment and will significantly increase the tension. On another level, her bathing foreshadows the eventual revelation of her sordid past. She desires to rid herself of her social blemishes and start over again after leaving Laurel

7 Characterisation: Blanche The second part of the scene begins with Blanche making an appearance in her red bath robe. Her flirting manner arouses Stanley’s suspicions as he senses that her provocative behaviour is more fitting for a prostitute than a schoolteacher, “If I didn’t know that you were my wife’s sister I’d get ideas about you!”

8 Characterisation - Stanley

9 Characterisation: Stanley In this scene Stanley’s antagonism to Blanche grows as do his suspicions about her Stanley’s hostility is rooted in his sharp awareness of the class differences between himself and Blanche (and by implication Stella) and his instinctive reaction is to pull her down to his level

10 Characterisation: Stanley This class antagonism is intensified by Stanley’s suspicions that Blanche has cheated both he and Stella He is unaware that Blanche’s costume jewellery is fake and his resentment grows when Stella mocks him

11 Characterisation: Stanley Stanley’s repeated references to the Napoleonic Code show that he is ignorant of legal technicalities because Belle Reve being in Mississippi would not fall under New Orleans jurisdiction However, these repeated references highlight the fact that his conflict with Blanche is also a gender showdown. Stanley feels that as a man whatever Stella has belongs to him. He also hates Blanche as a woman and as a person with a far more prestigious family name. He therefore suspects that her business dealings have been dishonest

12 Symbolism/Imagery Blanche posturing in her red robe is symbolic of the scarlet woman of the Bible (Revelation 17) Blanche’s reference to “The blind are leading the blind” is symbolic of Matthew 15:14 which reads “And if the blind shall lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch”. The implication here is of impending disaster Blanche’s constant bathing

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