Discussion on what extent the play "Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennesse Williams is a allegorical play.

Essay by samy_jHigh School, 11th gradeF, October 2005

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In the play, "Streetcar Named Desire", Tennessee Williams presents the allegory of the new, young, industrialized and more intensive working class thriving over the old and dying aristocratic southern society.

The play is centered on a struggle between Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche symbolizes the dying southern aristocratic society. She is cultured and refined and has "old fashioned ideals". She comes from a rich and elegant French family who owned a house called Belle Reve, meaning a dreamy and imaginary world. She believed herself superior and did not see that without money she would be dismantled. Eventually, money ran out due to "epic fornications" and she felt lost as her world fell apart. She has racist and ancient views: when asked to do household work she says "Can't we get a colored girl to do it?" She is accustomed to comfort and when she first walks in to Stella's apartment she is shocked to see how small it is: "Only these two rooms?" Also, while talking to Mitch and whilst knowing he can't understand her she says "Je suis la dame aux Camélias", comparing herself to a fictional character created by Alexandre Dumas.

Thanks to the use of French, she allows herself to be honest as she knows the information won't be perceived by Mitch. The "dame aux camellias" is a rich French prostitute, so Blanche makes a very accurate comparison.

Stanley is a blue-collar worker who is part of the new working class of America. His family is from Poland but he was raised and born in the United States, which he is very proud of. He establishes his identity as a pure American and when in scene 8 he is called a Polack by Blanche he answers: "I am not a Polack. People from Poland are...