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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile A Streetcar Named Desire

    Hello there!

    Could someone please answer the questions that follow about the play--A Streetcar Named Desire at your convenience? Your help is highly appreciated.

    (I'm not a student, and it isn't for my assignment or paper.)

    *********

    Q1: Why is the screenplay titled A Streetcar Named Desire? What does 'desire' refer to?

    I think everyone is always on a streetcar which carries us with all kind of desires -love, health, money, etc. to every stop of ours respectively; while the Streetcar took Blanche to lunatic asylum finally.

    Q2: The quote as below is a snippet from Wikipedia.

    Widely considered a landmark play, Streetcar deals with a culture clash between two symbolic characters, Blanche DuBois, a pretentious, fading relic of the Old South, and Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban immigrant class.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Streetcar_Named_Desire_(play)

    Could you please tell me something about 'Old South of the US'?

    Q3: Mitch, Blanche's suitor and Stanley's fellow worker, crashed Blanche's fragile spirit world; and the last straw was Stanley raped Blanche's body brutely. Under the both pressure of body and spirit, Blanche was driven to lost her reason.

    Does it mean 'Old South' was destroyed by the rising urban immigrant class? Do I over- interpret it?

    Q4: Obviously, Blanche and her sister Stella belonged to the same class and background, why did Stella love and marry Stanley who was quite common and boorish? Is it a symbol that Old South submits to the rising industrial class?

    Q5: The most impressive for me is when crazy Blanche said, "I have can always depended on the kindness of strangers", and then gently rested her arm on a stranger gentleman who actually worked for a mental hospital. I reduced myself to tears, though I don't really understand the play, but scene touched my heart. Was there not any gallantry to a lady in the then-time of New Orleans? And was it only haven for Blanche just the mental hospital?

    Q6: Can I say A streetcar Named Desire depicted the lacking gallantry in the then-time New Orleans while Mordern Gallantry by Charles Lamb was requiring gallantry in the England?

    Q7: What makes A Streetcar Named Desire a pearl in American literature?

    According to the definition of Cambridge Dictionaries Online, literature refers to written artistic works, particularly those with a high and lasting artistic value.

    But why can't many screenplays which won Oscar prize be listed into literature, eg. Sound of Music? Don't they have high and lasting artistic values?
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 25-Aug-2008 at 21:03.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Hello,

    No one but the author can answer your first question; but Blanche Dubois has to take a streetcar named "Desire" when she is going to her sister's home.

    Any interpretation is as valid as any other; I don't consider the play to be representative of any "clash" between North and South.

    Blanche lives in a world she creates for herself that does not exist and possibly never existed because she can't stand reality. So she is not very stable to begin with.

    For me, Stella is attracted to Kowalski because of the latter raw sexuality; and Kowalski hates Blanche because, in a way, he feels she is better than him. He doesn't understand her, and he seeks to destroy what he doesn't understand.

    He crushed the budding romance between Blanche and his mate Mitch; and he utterly destroys her when he rapes her.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    As to why it has become such a classic, the answer probably lies in the combination of the truthfulness of the characterizations, the fluidity of the language, and the way in which the author creates a situation that is timeless.

    With reference to your question about the Oscar-winning film-scripts, in general, film scripts do not have the quality of writing since there are different requirements, in that visuals are more important than dialogue. Most film-scripts do not read well since they depend so much on the screen images.

    This is the Wikipedia interpretation of the Old South: Old South - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. #4
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Rebel & Anglika,

    Thanks a bunch for your comments/answers.

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    Keralite's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello there!

    Could someone please answer the questions that follow about the play--A Streetcar Named Desire at your convenience? Your help is highly appreciated.

    (I'm not a student, and it isn't for my assignment or paper.)

    *********

    Q1: Why is the screenplay titled A Streetcar Named Desire? What does 'desire' refer to?

    I think everyone is always on a streetcar which carries us with all kind of desires -love, health, money, etc. to every stop of ours respectively; while the Streetcar took Blanche to lunatic asylum finally.

    Q2: The quote as below is a snippet from Wikipedia.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Streetcar_Named_Desire_(play)

    Could you please tell me something about 'Old South of the US'?

    Q3: Mitch, Blanche's suitor and Stanley's fellow worker, crashed Blanche's fragile spirit world; and the last straw was Stanley raped Blanche's body brutely. Under the both pressure of body and spirit, Blanche was driven to lost her reason.

    Does it mean 'Old South' was destroyed by the rising urban immigrant class? Do I over- interpret it?

    Q4: Obviously, Blanche and her sister Stella belonged to the same class and background, why did Stella love and marry Stanley who was quite common and boorish? Is it a symbol that Old South submits to the rising industrial class?

    Q5: The most impressive for me is when crazy Blanche said, "I have can always depended on the kindness of strangers", and then gently rested her arm on a stranger gentleman who actually worked for a mental hospital. I reduced myself to tears, though I don't really understand the play, but scene touched my heart. Was there not any gallantry to a lady in the then-time of New Orleans? And was it only haven for Blanche just the mental hospital?

    Q6: Can I say A streetcar Named Desire depicted the lacking gallantry in the then-time New Orleans while Mordern Gallantry by Charles Lamb was requiring gallantry in the England?

    Q7: What makes A Streetcar Named Desire a pearl in American literature?

    According to the definition of Cambridge Dictionaries Online, literature refers to written artistic works, particularly those with a high and lasting artistic value.

    But why can't many screenplays which won Oscar prize be listed into literature, eg. Sound of Music? Don't they have high and lasting artistic values?
    It is interesting to read the comments and the judgements about the characteres and the attempt to evaluate place of this play in American Literature.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Thank you for the 'at your convenience', the daffodils, but I'm afraid my coming late to the discussion doesn't portend a big post from me! I've never read the play, and only ever seen bits of the film.

    I can, though, imagine why whoever it was chose the expression 'a pearl in American literature'. Think of where a pearl comes from, and why it grows.

    b

  7. #7
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Quote Originally Posted by Keralite View Post
    It is interesting to read the comments and the judgements about the characteres and the attempt to evaluate place of this play in American Literature.
    Hi Keralite,

    Welcome to the forums. And thank you for your comment. Hope you enjoy your stay here.

  8. #8
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Hello BobK,

    Thank you for your response. On one hand, I think you guys are always very kind enough to try your best to help every learner of English here; all of you are volunteers here, and maybe don't have a lot of time/energy to respond to each thread. I hope you could help those in need most first, I just learn English for pleasure and self-improvement. On the other hand, I posed many questions in a run this time; there's no standard answer for each question since everyone could have his/her interpretation about literature works, and it might take you some time to consider and then answer.

    I don't feel being snubbed if I don't get a response in time or as quick as possible; even sometimes I would be sent to Coventry, luckily, it doesn't befall on me so far. Teaching/discuss English is a pleasure if we take time to do it; answering questions, I assume, would be a burden if it were an obligation or in a hurry.

    I probably use imapropriate words about saying the play is a pearl of literature. However, I think all literature works are pearls; some are bigger and brighter, some smaller, yet they're not grains of sand any more.

    Sorry, I am bit of long-winded, thanks for your reading.

    Have a good one!

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    A pearl of literature is a fine and suitable phrase. I think Bob was agreeing with you that it is a pearl, and to consider that a pearl starts as a piece of grit and ends as a beautiful pearl as it gathers its coating.

  10. #10
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: A Streetcar Named Desire

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    A pearl of literature is a fine and suitable phrase. I think Bob was agreeing with you that it is a pearl, and to consider that a pearl starts as a piece of grit and ends as a beautiful pearl as it gathers its coating.
    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Beauty is in the eye of beholder. Even a grain of sand, it was wonderful in the eyes of Willian Blake. The poem of his as below is very well-known among Chinese learners of English. I saw the poem in a frame hanging up on the inside wall of subway of Shanghai, China.

    A Grain Of Sand

    To see a world in a grain of sand,
    And a heaven in a wild flower,
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    And eternity in an hour.

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