How would a Marxist reading interpret the play?
The play would view the play as a social drama working out the antagonism between the declining DuBois family and the newly assertive working class, represented by Stanley.
What is Elia Kazan’s vision of the play which some critics have followed?
The vision that Stanley is the hero defending his home and marriage against the threat represented by Blanche.
What does New Historicism look at that explains why we’re more likely to sympathise with Blanche than Stanley?
They look at how our own social values influence of the play.
In early audiences, some cheered when Stanley carries Blanche off to rape her.
What does the fact that there were audiences for the play at all show?
The play is a product of a period in which there was enough money and leisure to enjoy theatre, and sufficient interest in working-calls characters like Stanley and Mitch to warrant a play about them.
How do feminists see Stella?
They see her as subjugated to Stanley.
How do feminists see Blanche?
A woman who is fired from one of the few occupations open to an intelligent, educated woman, and is portrayed as hysterical and mentally disturbed.
A feminist approach to the play may investigate female oppression implied in the author’s technique. What example do we see of this in the play?
Blanch is introduced by stage directions describing her appearance, whereas Stanley’s introduction focuses on his masculine energy.
A psychoanalytical approach would see the play’s symbols and imagery as what?
Examples of unconscious impulses at work.
What would a Freudian approach highlight about the play?
The play’s preoccupation with sexual desire and fear of death.
A psychoanalytical reading may see the play as embodying what?
The psychic drives of Eros (sex and love) and Thanatos (death), symbolised by the streetcars named ‘Desire’ and ‘Cemeteries’, and played out in Blanche taking refuge from her fear death in promiscuity, and expressing her guilt in audio-hallucinations and frequent bathing.