Secrets and Lies- a Streetcar Named Desire

Practice Essay: Secrets and Lies                                       Wuzinaer Redili

    ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams is based on the Contemporary American Realism on postwar American society that is transitioning from the aristocratic Old South to the Industrialized New South. Realism exposes the brutality and ugly truth of the world people live in. Tennessee Williams reveals the inevitable existence of secrets and lies in our society, given the world has become a place in which brutality reigns and the weak and marginalized suffers. Williams demonstrates that there is no objective truth, only subjective or partial truth by showing Blanche’s preference for “magic” and the representation of her only telling what ought to be true. Williams also critiques the double standards placed by the postwar American society causing women to conceal their desires and present an appearance of dependence on men using secrets and lies.

    In ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Tennessee Williams reveals that the world has become a place in which the ruthless reigns and the estranged suffer. Stanley symbolizes aspect of Brutality in the play, as being described in Blanche’s brutes speech, ‘maybe he will strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you… there has been some progress… such things as poetry and music… don't hang back with the brutes…”, this quotation not only portrays Stanley as an animal, but Blanche uses the juxtaposition of primitive violence and lust with finer things in life such as poetry and art, this reflects her “wealthy status” and as an educated woman. Stanley is the epitome of vital force; he is loyal to his wife and destructively cruel to Blanche. Stanley being descendant of his polish ancestry, he represents the new, heterogeneous America. In contrast to Stanley, Blanche has been out of place since the very beginning, being described as ‘moth like’ ‘she is daintily dressed in a white suit… necklace and ear-rings of pearls, white gloves and...