A Streetcar Named Desire Rhetorical Analysis

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In theatre, repetition often insinuates value. The reiteration of certain ideas, actions or objects in drama is never coincidental, but rather symbolizes a motif that links with the theme of the play. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams presents Blanche Dubois, the embodiment of a typical Southern Belle: dainty, vain, and very feminine. After moving in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley, Blanche finds herself caught in a spiral of alcoholism and stupor. The fallen and faded belle is prone to her frequent haunting memories and fantasy-like state-of-mind. While Williams utilizes repetition to represent chronic flashbacks that injure Blanche’s state of mind, Oscar Wilde uses repetition to satirize and condemn Victorian marriage …show more content…
One of the props that is seen several times in the play is food. Food embodies several connotations in the play. First, it serves to incite conflict. While sharing food normally insinuates a notion of peace, here Wilde reverses the symbol into one of quarrel. Craftily, the playwright mirrors the human necessity of food with the human necessity of sex. A necessity that man fights for, the play often displays Jack and Algernon fighting over food. This is first seen when Algernon absent-mindedly devours the cucumber sandwiches that are meant for Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen. Jack mirrors the action he criticizes Algernon for when he starts frantically attack the bread and butter, only enforcing that the act of eating references the insatiable sexual desire of both men engaging in the activity. The dramatic irony remains in the fact that there was no room for sexual urges in the Victorian society. Consequently, Algernon and Jack eat to satisfy that indulgence. A conflict over food resurfaces in Act 2 when Gwendolen and Cecily are caught in a petty argument involving tea and cake. Here the audience is shown the satirical side of the prop, when Gwendolen declines the sugar in the tea and the cake because the are no longer fashionable. Impudently, Cecily declines her requests and places both in front of Gwendolen. Algernon and Jack interfere to stop the fighting, then find themselves indulging in the muffins. Adding to the notion of ritual, Wilde cleverly makes the two male characters intervene in a situation involving food, expressing their interminable sexual

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