7.2 Scene i group analysis


Scene i


to explore and analyse the way in which the characters are introduced

As we read the opening of the play – take note on the introduction of the main characters…

Character Appearance + analysis


+ analysis

Dialogue + analysis




Look for symbolism and imagery used by Williams – what might the characters represent to a 1940s audience? Now?

Stanley Kowalski

Though we do not see much of Stanley in this scene, he definitely makes an impact

The description contained within the stage direction “gaudy seedbearer” conveys his sexual magnetism and his masculinity

His entrance with the package of meat symbolises his primitive qualities as it is if he were bringing it back to his cave fresh from the kill – the direction “heaves” adds to this ‘alpha male’ projection

His entrance also underscores the intense sexual bond between himself and Stella

He yells “Catch” as he throws the package. A moment later the

Negro woman shouts “Catch what?” Eunice and the Negro woman see something sexual and hilarious in Stanley’s act of tossing the meat to a breathlessly delighted Stella

Stanley’s cocky interactions with Blanche show him to be insensitive as he barely lets Blanche get a word in edgeways as he quickly assesses her beauty

Alternatively, his interactions with Blanche may be a demonstration of him being awkward in her presence – the conversation might be a bumbled attempt to be nice, which comes off horribly wrong…

So, the audience is more likely to sympathise with Stanley rather than Blanche as his unpretentiousness and zest for life contrasts sharply with her snobbish values

Blanche Dubois

Blanche is initially portrayed in a negative manner. She comes across as a frivolous, hysterical, insensitive and self-obsessed individual who derides her sister’s lesser social status

From early on in the play we are made aware of Blanche’s craving for drink, though her attempts to disguise her drinking immediately portray her as dishonest

Blanche is also portrayed as being aware of social distinctions. She is offhand with both Eunice and the neighbour. To Blanche these women are not being kind, they are simply behaving in the way

Blanche would expect her social inferiors to behave. Her attitude towards these women foreshadows her condemnation of Stella’s way of life and therefore implicitly her husband

Another aspect of Blanche’s character revealed in this scene is her vanity and her need of flattery.

Blanche is afraid of growing old and losing her looks. She relies on flattery to banish these terrors

The comparison to a moth could both reflect her vulnerability and nervousness, this could also be reflected in her conscious effort to be in darker light – a self-preservation – which is also used to make sure her looks are desirable to men (which is how she survives…)

Blanche is clearly vulnerable, yet she is very much the older sister, treating Stella as a child and expecting her to run errands. Her superficiality and her haughtiness portray her in a negative light in the minds of the audience

Stella Kowalski

Stella’s introduction to the audience is that of the ‘little wife’ in the opening – although she “mildly” tells Stanley off for yelling in public, she then catches the mean

“breathlessly” revealing her sexual attraction to her husband.