A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire: Marxist Criticism 12th Grade

Tennessee Williams’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire, illustrates the struggle of power between economic classes and the changes taking place in America at that time, regarding social status. The constant tension between Blanche and Stanley represents the conflict between social classes, and the clash of old and new America. By viewing the play through a marxist lens, one is able to pinpoint the power the upper class holds over the lower class, and how it eventually brings forth an upheaval of the classes. Blanche is stuck on the ideas of the old South, having a difficult time facing the presence of a new modern South. When she confronts Stanley, a symbol of the new South, a clash between the characters occurs, demonstrating the social change in America. This new America is further demonstrated in the themes William’s brings out with Blanche and Stanley, namely delusion and fantasy, and masculinity and physicality, where each illustrates the changes in different ways. By evaluating the play using marxist criticism, one is able to view the themes and purposes Williams used to illustrate the changes in America’s social classes in the late 1940s.

Viewing A Streetcar Named Desire through a marxist lens, one sees a clear distinction...

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