Explaining the use of symbols in the book “Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams.
“Blanche – I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” (55, Williams). There are many symbols in the book Streetcar Named Desire. Some examples may include the paper lantern, the outcome of the poker games, and the music in the background. These symbols add to the meaning of the story and help foreshadow upcoming events.
The music in the background symbolized Blanche’s past. “Polka music sounds, in a minor key, faint with distance.” (96, Williams). The polka music symbolized Blanche’s last dance with her husband. The polka music stops when she mentions the gunshot because that is how her husband died and the dance ended. The polka music plays throughout the play whenever Blanche is behaving in a way that was affected by the death of her husband.
The poker game is used to symbolize the way Stanley’s life is going. In the first poker game Stanley is losing, this symbolized the coming of Blanche and the hard times to come with her in the house. During the second game, Stanley has very good luck; this symbolizes the leaving of Blanche from his home. These poker games are also used by Blanche to symbolize Stanley’s apish gatherings of his friends.
The paper lantern was a very large symbol in the book. The paper lantern represented Blanche’s wish to hide her past. Mitch was suitable to put the lantern on because Blanche was hiding her past from him and starting a new life. It was also great symbolism for Stanley to rip the paper lantern off at the very end of the book because he was the one who revealed Blanche’s past.
There are many more symbols in the book as well, but would take much too long to place them all in a five-paragraph essay. The book has many symbols that attribute to it’s meaning and its plot. The symbols bring greater meaning to the characters’ actions and to their feeling and emotions. The symbols bring more emotion into the play as well. The symbols explained in this essay are very strong symbols in the play and easy to recognize. Though, there are a few symbols in the book that may be difficult to recognize, they are still there.