Scene 1 2 - Cate and Mili

[(Stanley) heaves the package at her. She
cries out in protest but manages to catch it:
then she laughs breathlessly]. Symbolism
Since early manhood the centre of his life
has been pleasure with women, the giving
and taking of it, not with weak indulgence
but with the power and rpide of a richly
featherd male bird among hens
[(blanche) Is daintily dressed in a white suit
with a fluffy bodice, neckalce and earrings
of pearl, white goves and hat, looking as if
she were arrvied at a summer tea arty or
cocktail party in the garden district.
Symbolism: Names
• Blanche Dubois in French
translates to white woods
• The etymology of her
name is significant for
two reasons; firstly
because it is extremely
French-sounding and
reinforces the ‘status’
that comes with her
• In addition, the ‘white’
imagery adds to her
‘pure’ outer image
• Stella Dubois (Stella for
Star, as repeated by
• Stanley Kowalski (Polish
surname, enforces the
tension between Blanche
and Stanley about
Stanley’s heritage
• The couple’s names are
first said in the same
sentence by Blanche, to
reinforce their differences
Dramatic Conventions: Setting
The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street in the New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs
between the L & N tracks and the river. The section is poor but unlike corresponding sections in other American
cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and
galleries and quaintly ornamented gables. The building contains two flats, upstairs and down. Faded white stairs
ascned to the entrances of both. It is first dark of an evening early in May. The sky that shows around the dim white
building is a peculiarly tender blue, almost turquoise, which invests the scene with a kind of lyricism and gracefully
attenuates the atmosphere of decay. You can almost feel the warm breath of the brown river beyond the river
warehouses with their faint redolences of bananas and coffee. A corresponding air is evoked by the music of Negro
entertainers at a bar-room around the corner. In this part of New Orleans you are practically always just around the
corner, or a few doors down the street, from a tinny piano being played with the infatuated fluency of brown
fingers. This 'blue piano' expresses the spirit of the light which goes on here.
Dramatic Conventions: Stage
• Stage directions are used to
communicate information about
characters which they perhaps
are not willing to share about
[She rushes to the closet and
removes the bottle; she is shaking all
over and panting for breath as she
tries to laugh. The bottle slips from
her grasp.]
[Looking down at her glass, which
shakes in her hand]
[She drinks quickly]
Blanche: No - I rarely touch it.
• Alternatively, it is used to
introduce musical or visual
components into the scene to
give more depth to what is
occuring onstage.
[two women, one white and one
coloured, are taking the air on the
steps of the building. The white
woman is eunice, who occupies the
upstairs flat, the coloured woman a
neighbour, for New Orleans is a
cosmopolitan city where there is
relatively warm and easy
intermingling of races in the old part
of town. Above the music of the 'blue
piano' the voices of people on the
street can be heard overlapping.]
Dramatic Conventions: repeated
Blanche:.. And turn that
over-light off! Turn that
off! I won't be looked at
in this merciless glare!
Vendor: red hot! Red
• Scene One introduces
dramatic motifs that reoccur
throughout the entire play, for
example the vendor selling
tamales (which representing
when things are
metaphorically ‘heating up’
between characters onstage)
and Blanche’s aversion to
direct light (representing her
insecurity about her age and
her status as a ‘fading
Southern belle’.)
Use of Language
• Blanche's
confidence wavers
as the scene
progresses and as
Stella asks her
questions about
her life and Belle
Blanche: 'only Poe!
Only Mr. Edgar Allan
Poe! - could do it
justice! Out there I
suppose is the ghoulhaunted woodland of
Weir! [laughs]
(diachronic language)
• the overlapping
dialogue in Scene
One is used to set
the scene and add
background noise,
painting New
Orleans as a busy
and exciting city
Above the music of
the 'blue piano' the
voices of people on
the street can be
heard overlapping.
• Allusions to elements of
the New Orleans culture
are frequent in Scene
One; they with creating
the mood for the city in
which the play is set
Negro Woman: don't let
them sell you a Blue Moon
cocktail or you won't go out
on your feet!
(A Blue Moon cocktail is a
gin-based cocktail which is
sweet and purple- coloured,
but deceptively very strong
due to the crème de
violette liqueur. It was a
‘mid-century standard.’
Other Languages
Eunice: Por nada, as the
mexicans say, por nada
• Eunice’s casual use of
Spanish is used to
communicate the
multicultural, ‘melting
pot’ quality of New
Blanche and Stella’s
Belle Reve
• The meaning of Belle
Reve as Blanche’s
‘beautiful dream’, and
loss of Belle Reve
represents this as such
Scene 2
- Greater insight into personality and morals
- “how about my supper, huh? I’m not going to no Galatoire’s for
- “yeah?” (one word responses continue)
- “Sister Blanche cannot be annoyed with business details right
- “Have you ever heard of the Napoleonic code?”
- “let me enlighten you on a point or two, baby”
- “and what have we here? The treasure chest of a pirate!”
- “What’s rhinestone?”
- “since when do you give me orders?”
- “I have a lawyer acquaintance who will study these out.”
- “you see, under the Napoleonic code, a man has to take an interest
in his wife’s affairs – especially now that she’s going to have a baby.”
• “he snatches them up”
• “Shoves it roughly open”
• “he seizes the atomizer and slams it down on the
• “he rips off the ribbon”
• “he stalks into the bedroom:
• “jerks out an armful of dresses”
• “he kicks the trunk partly closed”
• “he hurls the furs to the daybed”
• “he jerks open a small drawer and pulls up a fistful of
costume jewellery”
“The Kowalskis and the Dubois have different notions”
“Yes” (lemon –coke)
“next door to glass”
“You have no idea how stupid and horrid you’re
• “Don’t be such an idiot, Stanley!”
• “..but you don’t know how ridiculous you are being..”
• “and admire her dress and tell her she’s looking
wonderful. “
“Hello, Stanley! Here I am, all freshly bathed and scented, and feeling like a brand
new human being!”
“You men with your big clumsy fingers. May I have a drag on your cig?”
“Oh, in my youth I excited some admiration. But look at me now! Would you think
it possible that I was once considered to be – attractive?”
“you’re simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side I
should think. “
“I’m through dressing, honey.”
“Honey, do me a favor. Run to the drugstore and get me a lemon-coke with plenty
of chipped ice in it! – Will you do that for me, Sweetie?”
“My, but you have an impressive judicial air!”
“After all, a woman’s charm is fifty per cent illusion”
“[Singing in the bathroom]” from the land of the sky blue water, they brought a
captive maid!...”
“I called him a little boy and laughed and flirted. Yes, I was flirting with your
husband! (Steve, Pablo, men start appearing)
“Street Vendor: R-e-e-d H-o-o-t