Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

I read A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams because of the spin list results for The Classics Club. I am lucky that it is a short, easy read of 11 scenes that can be completed in a couple of hours.

I like to mention what I am reading or what I am going to read to my students. I hope it is affirmation to them that reading is a life-long activity. I have a group of students who read the play last year, and they were very excited for me to finish, so we could talk about it. I asked them if I would like the play and almost all of them thought I would have something to say about how the women are treated.

I have the Marlon Brando movie version. I've read a few reviews saying it is difficult to stage this play. I can understand why. Much of the stage direction actually interprets the scene or highlights what is symbolic.

As far as my enjoyment on the play, I was on the fence until the end. It had a whopper of an ending; it was like a gut punch. The entire play I hoped that Blanche would find a way to resolve her situation and that Stanley would lose some of his abusive tendencies and that Stella would wise up to Stanley's and Blanche's problems. But whoa..... in the last couple of scenes things get crazy.

It is almost impossible to say any more about the play without giving away the entire plot.

I did have an interesting conversation with my students about the play. They decided that Blanche is a bit like Rachel from The Poisonwood Bible. As far as AP material, this play does make an allusion to the Elysian fields of King Arthur's time which I can work with on the open question. Also, this play critiques society, and that is always fun to talk about.

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