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Flashcards in Streetcar - Key quotes Deck (32)
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New Orleans is richly diverse and acts as a symbol of old colonial architecture invading the post-slavery landscape.

"The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs... and quaintly ornamented gables."


Stanley appears as the spitting image of the American everyman - asserting physical manhood.

"Stanley carries his bowling jacket and a red-stained package from a butcher's."
"his emblem of the gaudy seed-bearer."
"Remember what Huey Long said - 'Every Man is a King!"


The feminine, Blanche, appears as a symbol of weakness and isolation, something easily manipulated.

"Her appearance is incongruous to this setting."
"Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light... her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggests a moth."


Blanche appears uncomfortable in the glare of [day] light as it seems to reveal the ominous nature of her past and her lack of purity.

"I won't be looked at in this merciless glare!"
"little coloured paper lantern."
"I like it dark. The dark is comforting to me."


The setting is the embodiment of expressionism when seen through the eyeglass of the heroine's reality.

"Out there I suppose is the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."


Vanity appears as a facade and curse for Blanche, an imposed misogyny to the subjects of the feminine.

"now that my looks are slipping... [dutifully]: They haven't slipped one particle."
"slams the mirror face down with such violence that the glass cracks."


The modern American woman appear driven by a voracious sexual desire and a need to be controlled.

"when he comes back I cry on his lap like a baby..."
[One hand rests on her belly, rounding slightly with new maternity.]
"Stella has embraced him with both arms, fiercely."


Alcohol is presented as a driving force and a way to escape from society, Blanche attempts to hide her desire. Blanche dreams of freedom from a progressive society.

"Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often."
"I ought to go there on a rocket that never comes down."
[She smashes a bottle on the table and faces him, clutching the broken top.]


The feminine love of costume acts as an inherent male fear of seduction, but consequently a desire to find what resides below.

"these feathers and furs that she comes to preen herself in! What's this here?"
"she has slipped on the dark red satin wrapper."
"soiled and crumpled white satin evening gown."


Blanche asserts her dominance through the emasculation of Stanley and her flirtatious physicality.

"You may enter!"
"then playfully sprays him with it."
"I think it's wonderfully fitting that Belle Reve should finally be this bunch of old papers in your big, capable hands."


Men's tribal attraction and attempts to reek of physical manhood appear in contingence to the lurid setting.

"a picture of Van Gogh's of a billiard-parlour at night... wear coloured shirts."


Alcohol acts as a catalyst for male desire, bestiality, and physicality.

[He lurches up and tosses some watermelon rinds to the floor.]
[Stanley gives a loud whack of his hand on her thigh.]
"Drunk - drunk - animal thing, you!"


Williams' use of the medium of inscription and writing to present the male attempt to control, to author the female.

"Oh, is there an inscription? I can't make it out... I shall but love thee better - after death!"
"He is holding a little envelope... Ticket! Back to Laurel!"


The outward appearance of masculine weakness and a desperate appeal to the feminine.

"in awkward imitation like a dancing bear."
"There he throws back his head like a baying hound."
"you make my mouth water... come on over here like I told you! I want to kiss you -"


Social expectation to control and subdue wife as husband.

"You can't beat a woman an' then call 'er back!"
"Then they come together with low, animal moans."


Male destruction of boundaries that act as a point of weakness.

"rushed about the place smashing the light-bulbs with it."
[He tears the paper lantern off the light-bulb... She cries out and covers her face.]


Shep Huntleigh appears as a symbol of the old world gentleman, an illusion that offers a sense of security.

"Darling Shep. Sister and I in desperate situation."
"the lady must entertain the gentleman."


The train appears both as a motif for Blanche's insecurity and dually a cover in which the masculine can watch.

"Under cover of the train's noise Stanley enters."
"The headlight of the locomotive glares into the room as it thunders past."


The masculine is presented as a restriction to the primality of the past.

"all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking!"
"In this dark march... Don't - don't hang back with the brutes."


Blanche exaggerates her femininity to appeal towards the weakness of the masculine, she over exaggerates and equivocates.

"after Belle Reve had started to slip through my fingers... you've got to be soft and attractive. And I - I'm fading now!"
"I want to deceive him enough to make him - want me..."
"She pulled the wool over your eyes."


The presentation of the downward trajectory inherent to a tragedy.

"Is that streetcar named Desire still grinding along the tracks at this hour?"
"He was in the quicksands and clutching at me... I was slipping in with him!"


Light imagery:

[She lights a candle stub.]
"turned a blinding light on something... half in shadow."
"the searchlight... was turned off again... has there been any light that's stronger than this - kitchen - candle..."


Blanche appear unconcerned/ blind with the uncovering of her illustrious past, she is presented as a cougar.

"But sister Blanche is no lily!"
"That's where I brought my victims... to fill my empty heart with."
"to dive where the deep pool is - if you hit a rock you don't come up till tomorrow."


The musical/ auditory semantic field mimic the mental state of Blanche and is left unheard by the other characters.

"a hot trumpet."
"the distant piano goes into a hectic breakdown."
"The rapid, feverish polka tune, the 'Varsouviana."


The act of cleansing and washing inflicts a need for vitality and youth.

"after my long, hot bath, I feel so good and cool and - rested!"
[Blanche is singing in the bathroom.]


The masculine appears to objectify the feminine and force their consequential downfall.

"people like you abused her, and forced her to change."
"I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it."


Masculine rejection of the woman-entertainer, wanting something more pure.

[dropping his hands from her waist]: "You're not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother."
"They told her she better move on to some fresh territory."


Masculine clothing appears as a subject to further exert one's physicality.

"This is all I'm going to undress right now."
"I'll tear this off and wave it like a flag!"


New Orleans acts as a reflection of the relationship between Stanley and Blanche.

[A prostitute has rolled a drunkard. He pursues her along the walk... A policeman's whistle breaks it up.]


The feminine is complicit with her subjectivity.

"We've had this date with each other from the beginning."
"No matter what happens, you've got to keep on going."