A Streetcar Named Desire, By Tennessee Williams Essay

1299 Words Aug 20th, 2015 6 Pages
In Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”, we are introduced to a cast of characters that Williams describes as his “little company of the faded and the frightened, the difficult, the odd, the lonely” – and Williams’ exploration of how these adjectives influence the nature of the characters’ relationships. In Tennessee’s writing, these adjectives typically assume a position in a gender hierarchy, which handily lends “Streetcar” to be read from a feminist critical standpoint. The female empowerment movement realised the significance of the woman in literature, and demands one call into question the representation of female characters in media and how the feminine is typified through ‘a set of culturally defined characteristics’. In Williams’ “Streetcar” the portrayal of female characters is often contested as poor – personifying the female characters as ‘dependent’ in some form or another on either a male character (Stella and Stanley) or a concept that is either as a result of or inherently typically masculine (Blanche wanting to marry a man, and her dependency on alcohol). Through this essay we’ll explore these concepts of dependence and portrayal of women through the feminist literary criticism lens.
In order to explore the portrayal of women, it’s key to look at the portrayal of each separate character. Blanche DuBois’ character is a traditional clichéd appliqué of the Southern Belle, even born under the sign popularised as ‘The Maiden’, “Virgo”. This is…

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