Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters
The first people to ever listen to the words of A Streetcar Named Desire were two women, Margo Jones and Joanna Albus. Tennessee Williams read them an uncompleted first draft of the play. Margo Jones was “supportive of the play but urged him to rewrite it and to soften Blanche's hysteria. He listened, and ignored her” (Rader 199). The very first people who were privy to the violent, sensual, chaotic world of Blanche and Stanley were two women who found fault in Stella's character. They saw her hysteria, no doubt an unbecoming trait, as “far out,” or perhaps unbelievable. Much later critics of the play, “[feel] so strongly about Blanche that they envision her death at the end of the play, even if the plot only allows us to see her carried off to the asylum” (Vlasopolos 324). In examining Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, I will explore the circumstances that lead to the way Williams's female characters were created and perceived, and use a modern feminist perspective to analyze how we should now view these characters as we move to a more equal society. In addition to this more scholarly work, I will be writing a short play featuring Blanche in the asylum. Unlike the aforementioned critics, I imagine a life for Blanche after A Streetcar Named Desire, and I intend to uncover the devastating effects of rape and blame on a victim, and discover why we discover fault with victims rather than aggressors.
Thayer, Audrey, "The Rape of Blanche: An Examination of Critical Analysis & Sexist Overtones" (2014). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 60.
Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory Commons, Gender and Sexuality Commons, Literature in English, North America Commons, Playwriting Commons, Women's Studies Commons
Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.