A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay by nenanenaCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2008

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A Streetcar Named Desire is widely considered as one of those classic movies that marked one period of time. This movie presents a sharp critique of the way the institutions and attitudes of postwar America placed restrictions on women's lives. Williams uses Blanche's and Stella's dependence on men to expose and critique the treatment of women during the transition from the old to the new South. The fact that the movie was made in black and white only increases the drama that involves relations between the main characters. As Roger Ebert says:Color would have been fatal to the special tone. It wouldhave made the characters seem too real, when we needthem exactly like this, black and gray and silver,shadows projected on the screens of their own dreamsand needs. Watching the film is like watching aShakespearean tragedy. (Ebert)As for me, I was amazed with the movie itself as well as with the performance of main characters.

A Streetcar Named Desire contains more within its characters, situations, and story than appears on its surface. Symbolism and interesting characters are widely used in order to involve the audience. The plot of A Streetcar Named Desire alone does not captivate the attention. What makes people watch this movie in "one breath" are brilliant and intriguing characters who make a person truly understand the movie's meaning. It also presents a continuous flow of raw, realistic moods mixed with a world of fantasies in which a cruel reality does not seem to be so terrifying. Altogether, the symbolism, characters, mood, and fantasy world make this movie unique.

Blanche DuBois is the most fascinating character in A Streetcar Named Desire. One reason is that she has an absolutely brilliant way of making reality seem like fantasy, and making fantasy seem like reality. This element of Blanche's...