Struggles of an Outsider: Medea and A Streetcar Named Desire 10th Grade

The struggle of the outsider is facilitated by their isolation and their inability to form significant bonds with others in their community. Whilst outsiders have the capacity to challenge their respective communities, their struggles inevitably lead to their moral corruption. Reflecting the patriarchal norms of ancient Athenian society, Euripides’s 431 B.C play Medea criticizes the effect of community pressure on an outsider’s moral ethos. Similarly, Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire (1957) mirrors the collective consciousness of post-war America by demonstrating the mistreatment of outsiders by society. Although these plays come from different time periods, both composers acknowledge the struggles that outsiders universally face, and how society’s injustices ultimately lead to their downfall.

Societal gender norms can cause the isolation and condemnation of female outsiders who struggle to express their individuality. This is demonstrated in Euripides’s play Medea through the development of the titular character, who becomes isolated due to her struggle for female equality against the patriarchal Ancient Athenian society. Her subversion of gender roles is highlighted in Creon’s didactic imperative to Medea of...

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