PosterĄG EK TAN at 20:35:20 6/2/98 from h8.s118.ts.hinet.net
|Name: Tan Eng Kiong (E.K)
From The Introduction of Tennessee Williams
I do not intend to write a journal on "A Street Car Name Desire" so soon, before finishing the play.
Something captivated me at my first encounter with the play. Upon reading the introduction by Tennessee Williams, I was eager to read on, to see how he inject his ideas at that present of his time in the play. I was right, the introduction did prepare me for the play, and eventually the link between the writer's thought and the theme of the play can be located without much difficulty.
Tennessee Williams attended an operation on his eye, he stated that his friends sounded kind and sincere, which were extremely different from what he suspected, before the operation. Thus, after checking out of the hospital, he left for Mexico where he "forget the false dignities and conceits imposed by success". He founded out that his "public self did not exist" there and his "natural being was resumed."
Tennessee Williams started to write " The Poker Night" which is " A Street Car Name Desire" with an idea in mind, " It is only in his work that an artist can find reality and satisfaction, for the actual world is less intense than the world of his own invention and consequently his life, without recourse to violent disorder, does not seem very substantial." Blanche in the play is always hiding, like a moth, away from her past and from reality. The past has been haunting her and causing her nervous breakdown, if she could accept the past being the past she might have been better. Another way of her not facing reality is her rejection of New Orleans, in the form of its social status. There is a frequent comparison between New Orleans and Belle Reve, not understanding the fact that Blanche herself no longer own Belle Reve.
Tennessee Williams stated that " luxury is the wolf at the door and that the fangs of this wolf are all the vanities and conceits and that Success is heir to." I'm not saying that Stanley is represented by "luxury" but to Blanche he is someone she tries to seduce. Blanche who is not a sincere character sets herself unconsciously in this house of "vanities and conceits" with Stanley just like the wolf at the door waiting for opportunity to devour her. This parallel image could be seen later in scene four where Stanley stand at the door eavesdropping the conversation of Stella and Blanche.
The idea of appearance and reality is one of the major concern of Tennessee Williams. The above paragraphs is the use of the image of a wolf in disguised. Blanche depicted by the writer as a moth is also seen as someone extremely concern of her physical appearance, furthermore, her pure and innocent appearance contradicts her degree of honesty, which reveals through her behavior and speeches.
Although, I refer Stanley to the "wolf at the door", he seems to be the person that is more real, as we see his animal traits throughout the play without much conceal. He pretends in the scene whereby he realizes Blanche's unpleasant comments on him.
Tennessee Williams brought out an idea of William Saroyan which stress that purity of heart is the one success worth having. This explain the unnecessary purpose to search for superficial substances.
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