A Streetcar Named Desire

The Presentation of Mental Suffering: A Comparison of Plath and Williams College

This essay will look at both the polarity and unity within the mental suffering of characters and voices from Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire (‘Streetcar’) and Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems, focusing specifically on the extent to which they suffer due to their imagination and whether or not this is a more frequent commodity than the times that they suffer due to reality. Both, Plath and Williams’ dichotomy and duality will allow explorations to be made across their texts, relating back to the suffering of the playwright and poet themselves and how this has attributed to their own work.

It appears that within Plath’s Ariel collection and Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, the protagonists’ suffering is a result of them placing themselves in situations that they thought would rid them of the aspects of their past causing them misery, however, we see this result in them being subjected to further suffering of another form. Fundamentally, both writers convey elements of themselves within the characters and voices that they portray. Williams, himself, has admitted to his work being emotionally autobiographical[1] and with Plath, it is possible to detect parallelism with her work of fiction and that of her journals; it...

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