The Use of Light and Dark in A Streetcar Named Desire
“All good and innocence is easily shadowed by evil” is a phrase that best defines the entire work of Williams Tennessee in “A Streetcar Named Desire”. The playwright deliberately makes use of various symbols to suggest an overall theme of light versus darkness, or good versus evil.
The work is set in New Orleans, which is a city famous for its spicy food and its annual Mardi Gras celebrations. However, what most people do not know about New Orleans is that it is also a city with a dark and seedy underside. This is the side of the city that Williams focuses on in his play.
The main protagonists in the play are Stanley Kowalski and his wife Stella. Stella is pregnant with their first child and she is also the sister of Blanche DuBois. Blanche has come to visit Stella after she has been forced to leave her home in Mississippi due to some financial difficulties.
Blanche is a delicate flower who is not used to the rough and tumble lifestyle of her brother-in-law Stanley. She is repressed and proper, while he is aggressive and vulgar. The two characters are complete opposites, which makes for an interesting dynamic between them.
As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that Stanley does not like having Blanche around. He finds her to be a nuisance and he does everything he can to make her feel unwelcome. He also starts to suspect that she is hiding something from him, which only makes him more hostile towards her.
The conflict between Stanley and Blanche comes to a head when Stanley rapes Blanche. This act of violence finally breaks Blanche and she descends into madness. The rape also marks the beginning of the end for Stella’s marriage to Stanley, as she can no longer tolerate his abusive behavior.
Throughout the play, Williams uses various symbols to suggest an overall theme of light versus darkness, or good versus evil. One of the most prominent symbols is the use of light and darkness itself. The play opens with Blanche arriving at the station in New Orleans and she comments on how the sunlight hurts her eyes.
This comment foreshadows the eventual demise of Blanche’s mental state. The light represents truth and reality, while the darkness represents ignorance and lies. Blanche has been living in a world of lies for so long that she can no longer handle the harsh reality that is now being revealed to her.
Another symbol that Williams uses is the contrast between fragility and strength. Blanche is a very fragile character who is not used to dealing with hardship or abuse. On the other hand, Stanley is very strong and he does not hesitate to use force when he feels it is necessary.
This contrast between fragility and strength gives Blanche the most complex character in the entire play. She is constantly torn between her desire for security and her need for excitement. In the end, her fragility gives way to madness, which ultimately leads to her downfall.
Williams also makes use of the contrast between the Old South and the New South to suggest an overall theme of change. The Old South was a time when plantation owners ruled over their workers with an iron fist. They were able to get away with this because the workers were too afraid to stand up for themselves.
The New South, on the other hand, is a time when workers are starting to fight back and assert their rights. This change is represented by the character of Stanley, who is a working-class man who does not hesitate to use his fists when he feels it is necessary.
The conflict between Stanley and Blanche is also a representation of the conflict between the Old South and the New South. Blanche represents the Old South, with its repressive and proper values, while Stanley represents the New South, with its aggressive and vulgar values.
In conclusion, Williams Tennessee’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” is a play that explores the dark side of human nature. The playwright uses various symbols to suggest an overall theme of light versus darkness, or good versus evil. The conflict between Stanley and Blanche represents the conflict between the Old South and the New South. In the end, Blanche’s fragility gives way to madness, which ultimately leads to her downfall.
The playwright deliberately makes use of various symbols to suggest an overall theme of light versus darkness, or good versus evil.