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Critics for Streetcar
Terms in this set (11)
"At first glance, Blanche DuBois may seem superficial, even a bit ridiculous on account of the importance she attributes to her looks and to her former social status.
However, the protagonist's behaviour is in a way symptomatic of society itself, even of humanity as a whole." M. Skiba
"Williams' famously poetic stage direction, in which Blanche is likened to a fluttering white moth who must avoid the light,
suggests that she craves 'magic' because the truth about postwar American is too harsh to bear." P. Allan
"By forcing Stella to acknowledge that, like himself, she is driven by sexual urges,
Stanley validates his own moral code and justifies his own actions." P. Williams
"Stanley feels threatened by Blanche's attack on his authority...His reaction to Blanche's intrusion, trying to lead Stella away from him (as she does literally in scene 3)
is that of a territorial animal desperately defending its lair." P. Williams
"I have only one major theme for my work,
which is the destructive power of society on the sensitive non-conformist individual." Tennessee Williams
"(Brando's) poses and gestures copied the confident, coiled, often bare-chested images of American soldiers during the war... As either a violent soldier or a desperate hedonist,
Brando/Kowalski is an empty shell, held together by body language earned in the military or in the consumption of goods. This presence needs constant sensation to stave off depression." B. A. McChonachie
tragedy." Michael Billington
"I think her natural passivity is one of the things that makes her acceptance of Stanley acceptable.
She naturally 'gives in', accepts, lets things slide, she does not make much of an effort." Tennessee Williams on Stella
"Like many battered women, Stella is genuinely in love with her husband. She puts up with his abuse because
she doesn't want to lose him, and because she feels helpless to change the way he treats her." Bloom. H.
"The clock in A Streetcar Named Desire is Stella's pregnancy... it is no accident that the day the Kowalski baby - the postwar hybrid of Stanley and Stella - is born is also the day that the representative of the antebellum South, Blanche,
is defeated, raped and destroyed. Williams casts something of a cold eye on the triumph of a new (postwar) South peopled by brutish and insensitive Stanley Kowalskis." Wertheim
"Shy, clumsy, slow-thinking, he acts as a foil to the shrewd, loud, domineering Stanley. He is also very different from the poetry-loving, fanciful Blanche with her cultural aspirations.
His role is to offer Blanche the promise of a safe haven, to spur Stanley indirectly to find out Blanche's past in order to protect his old buddy." Sambrook
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