Online Custom «A Streetcar Named Desire» Essay Sample

A Streetcar Named Desire

Since ancient times, the tragic plays have been evoking sympathy among the readers and spectators. The emotional reaction of people observing the suffering of the heroes is quite natural in many cases, especially as the fate can become absolutely unfair towards good sincere people. However, it is particularly interesting and sometimes puzzling to investigate the appearance of the sympathy for the heroes, whose actions can be disputable in terms of being positive or negative. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche, who has deceived everyone since the beginning of the story, represents a good example of how the emotional connection can be dependent on the closeness of the hero’s story to the reality. Even though the sympathy towards such an ambiguous character can seem surprising from the first time, the emotional reaction to the tragic fate of the protagonist is depicted as the result of the circumstances and social influences rather than the inner wickedness of the heroine. This essay analyses the deteriorating role of the society in the human lives focusing on the examples from Tennessee Willams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and Eugen O'Neill’s Long Day's Journey into Night. It discusses how the plays reflect the tragedy of the real life and the weaknesses of the protagonists which make the audience sympathetic towards the main characters.

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The figure of Blanche can cause various reactions from blaming her for the indecent behavior and deceit or sympathizing her as a weak woman, who has become a real victim of the circumstances. Obviously, she can hardly leave one indifferent. Blanche DuBois should be considered as the example of all female victimization in the patriarchic society. Tennessee reflects on how this woman has changed from a gentle girl into an alcoholic nymphomaniac because of the circumstances that influence her (Hooti 18). She seems to have a strong desire to change everything and fulfill her dreams by starting a new life. However, she is far away from her dreams, and all her attempts to change anything are absolutely in vain. The downfall of this woman is predetermined by the tragic circumstances and the rules of the society. From the beginning of the story, when the house on the Elysian Fields is absolutely not what the heroine expected, it is clear that her fate does not correspond with her dreams (Tennessee). Hence, unmet expectations that are constantly keeping Blanche from happiness become the major underlying reasons for the readers’ emotional response and sympathy towards her.

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With the regard to more details, one can find a great number of the events that make the fate of Blanche really tragic. At first, the loss of the husband, whom she seemed to love sincerely. Even though it can be disputable whether her behavior towards his homosexuality was appropriate, the loss was a real trauma for this woman. Thus, the readers feel compassion towards her initially due to the fact that she is widowed and depressed by the feeling of guilt for not having saved her husband and being left with the “empty heart” (Tennessee 146). After the loss of the beloved, Blanche becomes a nymphomaniac. However, Tennessee seems to justify her actions by putting emphasis on the inner loneliness of the woman, who has lost love. Even though she obviously makes a wrong choice, she is emotionally vulnerable and “hunting for some protection” (Tennessee 146). These words definitely cannot leave the readers indifferent as far as it is normal to sympathize with those who have lost their love, become defenseless, and need help. The further development of the events makes the representation of the heroine even more tragic. While she has found in self the strength to struggle the obstacles and search for the better life and support at her sister’s house, she is still destined to suffer. While her lies are justified by the desire to change the circumstances and just be happy, Williams shows that she is unable to do it because the society has a strong influence on everyone. Blanche says in the end that people are strongly dependent “on the kindness of strangers” (Williams 177). Unfortunately, she did not meet strangers who would be kind to her and let her reach her dreams. Instead, only her sister seems to be helpful. Though, the sister’s husband Stanley is absolutely unkind to her and has ruined her attempts to improve the situation and finally become happy. Mainly, this person is represented as the antagonist, who puts many efforts to deprive Blanche of the possibility to become happier. All his actions including beating Stella and an ability to bring her back, raping Blanche and an ability to remain innocent for his wife show his superiority and power over Blanche, who is weak and unable to change anything. Owing to this, Williams explains the actions of Blanche and emphasizes the fact that she is flawed. However, it is the society that has made her such person. She is a poor suffering girl who wants to be happy as every other person in the world. She does not have any evil intentions in her actions. Instead, she is ruled by the natural desire to be content. Hence, Williams represents her as a victim. Mainly this fact is proven by the empathy that the audience feels towards this woman (Lant 236). At the same time, the society with its representatives, such as Stanley, is not “well-ordered” and cannot make people remain moral (Lant 230).

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Another protagonist, who is flawed, but still evokes the sympathy is Mary Cavan Tyrone from O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Her drug addiction and the son, who suffers from tuberculosis, evoke the strong emotional response from the audience that becomes acquainted with the tragedy. The sense of catharsis associated with the heroine is evoked by the represented deterioration of human life. However, what is important and similar to the situation with Blanche DuBois, the flaws of Mary are caused by the society. Her attempts to change anything become a failure. Her fall seems inevitable regardless of her actions.

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