Themes Of Death And Desire In


" Desire, unreined, leads to death"
To took what extent to Tennessee Williams's plays lend support to such a proposition?
Speaking to a reporter in 1963 Tennessee Williams said,
" Death is my best theme, don't you think? The pain of dying is what worries me, not the act. After all, nobody gets out of life alive. "1
The themes of death and desire are central in the play A Streetcar Named to Desire. When the play was released in 1948 it caused a storm, its sexual content was controversial to say the least, but also it was, "virtually unique as a stage piece that is both personal and social and wholly a product of our life today." 2 The play tells of the visit of the main character, Blanche, ...

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important, but it is the pain that precedes it. This has metaphorical significance which resonates throughout the play. Though the characters do not physically die it is in their inevitable downfall that we see the symbolic pain of death. In all the characters it is clear that their unbridled desires, their Id force, lead to significant downfalls. This essay aims to intricately analyse the many ways Williams uses ideas and themes of desire to bring about "death" in A Streetcar Named Desire, in particular focusing on the central issue of the play, the demise of Blanche.

The first line that Blanche speaks is,

"They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then up transferor to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at- Elysian Feilds!3

The theme that dominates the play is here to be found in its title. At the time when Tennessee Williams was working on A Streetcar Named Desire in New Orleans in 1946 there actually were streetcars which listed as ...

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Blanche's arrival that precipitate her downfall within the play, these take us to Belle Reve, the ancestral mansion outside Laurel, Mississippi, which was once the centre of a great plantation in the antebellum days. As Boxill pointed out though the "the indulgence of decadent habits, on the part of the men in the family, in succeeding generations had so reduced the estate, that nothing was left during the sisters adolescence, except the house itself and some 20 acres of land".5

Here we see the theme of desire ingrained in the roots of the Dubios family history. The desire for " decadent habits" had not been tempered by reason. This irrationality had led to a situation where the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 10/8/2004 08:33:50 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2565
Pages: 10

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