What did Williams call the streetcar?
The “ideal metaphor for the human condition”.
Blanche’s journey on Desire through Cemeteries to Elysian Fields is both… ?
Literal and metaphorical
Desire is a… ?
Controlling force: when it takes over, characters must submit to its power, and they are carried along to the end of the line.
What does Blanche associate the Varsouviana Polka with?
Her young husband’s suicide.
When does the Polka music play?
When Blanche is reminded of her husband in specific or when she is particularly disturbed by the past in general.
When does the Polka music stop ‘playing’?
Either until some event in the real world distracts Blanche or the gunshot goes off in her memory.
Who hears the Polka music?
Only Blanche and the audience.
What does Blanche do to “soother her nerves”?
Bathing is an escape from what for Blanche?
The sweaty apartment. Rather than confront her body in the light of day, Blanche retreats to the water to attempt to cleanse herself and forget reality..
What is Blanche’s constant washing reminiscent of?
Blanche also seeks what from water/bathing?
Rejuvenation, as if the water were a fountain of youth.
What contrasts to Blanche’s use of bathing to escape reality?
Whilst Blanche uses bathing to escape reality, the men dunk Stanley in the shower to sober him up so that he can face the real world.
What does the paper lantern over the light bulb represent?
Blanche’s attempt to mask both her sordid past and her present appearance.
When Mitch hangs up the lantern what is Blanche able to do?
Maintain her pose of the naive Southern Belle with him, but it is only a facade.
What does Blanche say when Mitch rips off the lantern?
“I don’t want realism - I want magic!”
What does Blanche sing whilst Stanley tells Stella about Blanche’s past?
‘Paper Moon’. Blanche sings this saccharine popular song about a paper world that becomes a reality through love.
What happens to Stanley when he gets drunk?
His masculinity becomes exaggerated - he grows increasingly physical, violent and brutal.
Why does Blanche drink?
She uses it as an escape mechanism. She hides her alcoholism, constantly claiming that she rarely drinks whilst secretly sneaking frequent shots.