A Streetcar Named Desire: Film Analysis

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The play A Streetcar Named Desire explores brutality vs. tenderness displayed through the personalities of Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. Marlon Brando's charismatic portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire undermines the validity of Blanche's struggle. The contrast between Vivien Leigh's Blanche and Brando's Stanley emphasizes the most negative aspects of Blanche's character while supporting and validating the most positive of Stanley's, unbalancing the original intentions of Tennessee Williams in depicting the struggle between the Old World and the New. This contrast affirms the importance of the consideration of Williams’s stage directions included in the original version; it demonstrates how the ways in which the characters are interpreted for film production modifies the audience’s understanding of the play.

Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, through the use of method acting, modifies the audience’s understanding of the play. As a representation of the savage and brutal forces of modern society, Stanley’s character pursues and is driven by desire:

“Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his movements and attitude. Since earliest manhood the center of his life has been pleasure with women, the giving and taking of it, he sizes women up at a glance,
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The alteration of various aspects of the play and its characters undermines the validity of Blanche's struggle, emphasizes the most negative aspects of Blanche's character while supporting and validating the most positive of Stanley's. Unbalancing the original intentions of the play, these changes alter the way in which the characters and their respective outcomes are interpreted by the audience and the message that Williams intended to

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