Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 8 January 2008
Arguably Tennessee Williams' best loved and most popular play, 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is guaranteed to grip you from start to finish.
Set in 1950s New Orleans, the highly pretentious Miss Blanche Dubois visits her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche, "virtuous", sensitive and 'moth-like' is a cultured antithesis of Stanley with his overt sensuality and primal behaviour, providing the audience with a wonderful drama of emotions.
Williams cleverly unravels Blanche's shocking history through Stanley, whose determined investigations reveal her past mistakes from her inability to receive closure from her young husband's death. The delightful use of explicit and precise stage directions results in a fantastic array of tension-building music, dramatic irony and intricately inter-woven symbolism.
The eleven scenes span over a long period of time, condensing the play into major dramatic events which intensify the emotions of both the characters and the audience. This is futher affirmed by the small set - the tiny apartment bespeaks confinement, accentuating the emotional density and the power and menace of Stanley's physical presence.
As the loss of literature, language, music and culture (everything that Blanche epitomises) is replaced with desire and lust, Blanche slowly 'fades' into her illusions; unable to cope with a changing world and ultimately losing her grip on sanity altogether.
Peter Shaffer wrote of Williams: "He could not write a dull scene." I could not agree more; 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is rightfully one of the best pieces of modern American literature as it will undoubtably be remembered, discussed and enjoyed for years to come.
Emma Stimson, A-level student.