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Drama Studies Task ONE- Performance Skills A Streetcar named Desire is a play both grimly naturalistic and poetically symbolic written by playwright Tennessee Williams It is set in New Orleans post the depression and World War II The characters in A Streetcar Named Desire are trying to rebuild their lives in post-war America Much of the characters and themes found in Williamss dramas were derived from the playwrights own life Alcoholism depression desire loneliness and insanity were all included Typical of Williams style Streetcar portrays the main character as Blanche DuBois a faded Southern belle who represents the culture and beauty of the past and her evident distaste for her younger sister Stellas husband Stanley Kowalski a lower class Polish man who is the personification of modern practicality crudeness cynicism and brutality Through this play we follow Blanche and her descent into madness and lunacy This play is written in the style of theatre is known as expressionismnaturalism Expressionism in drama and art was a movement that rejected traditional methods of representing objective reality Instead expressionists exaggerated and distorted aspects of the outside world in order to express certain moods and feelings Expressionism continues to be an important influence on experimental theatre and art Williams has used this style to portray his themes ideas and characters in the play A Streetcar Named Desire The character of Blanche was actually a repertoire of the womanly characteristics displayed by Tennessee Williams Naturalism can refer to the technique of portraying life in a scientifically detached manner however it is generally used to refer specifically to a nineteenth century movement in art and literature where the artists or authors claimed to be objective observers Naturalist writers were strongly influenced by evolutionary theory and saw human beings as creatures constrained by heredity and environment rather than as beings with free will In regards to Streetcar Williams sought to depict working-class characters as psychologically evolved beings to some
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