The Characteristics Of Naturalism In A Streetcar Named Desire

The study of literature is very complex and multifaceted. While writing can and does often speak for itself, a great deal of works can be understood more thoroughly by understanding the historical and social influences that may have impacted the author. The most affecting stylistic influences often take the form of literary movements. Studying these various movements can help offer insight into the mind of the author and the story they are telling. One of the more interesting and lesser known literary movements is naturalism (Newlin 24). The following essay will examine the popular play A Streetcar Named Desire, explaining how it exemplifies qualities of naturalism in its subject matter and human characterization.
Naturalism
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Many of these stories depict the monotony of day-to-day life inherent in human existence in order to reflect the true nature of life itself (Newlin 79). Naturalism seeks to portray an accurate depiction of life often by being pessimistic in nature. In addition, naturalism often depicts characters who try conform to their perceptions of societal expectations, but ultimately give in to their true, innate, often primal urges and desires (Craig & Moreland 134). As such nature is seen as a powerful, driving force, unaffected and uninterested in human struggle and emotion that predetermines every life.
A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams’ famous play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1948, is a tragic story about a woman named Blanche DuBois, an aging woman who clings on to delusions of reality in order to maintain her sense of self-worth (Newlin 140). Blanche goes to live with her sister and her sister’s husband, Stella and Stanley Kowalski, where she upsets their relationship and violently clashes with Stanley, due to their inherent differences (Williams).
Environmental
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Williams, in writing this story, takes a very detached, objective approach to storytelling. The characters are understood as a result of their own words and behaviors (Newlin 149). There are no internal monologues, no moments of great character insight. Rather, the story unfolds as it would in front of a silent observer of the scene (Newlin 149). Furthermore, the play has no clear protagonist or antagonist. Many characters exemplify characteristics of both good and evil (Newlin 155). Much like in real life, the characters are not black-and-white. They are complex, and display both morally right and wrong behavior in various circumstances. The audience may feel sympathy for Blanche, but they also likely note the extremely damaging nature of her behavior on those around her. Similarly, the audience condemns Stanley’s rape of Blanche, but also feel his anger is somewhat justified with Blanche for her self-seeking actions (Newlin 157). Williams crafted his play in a way that does not depict an artistic vision or skew. He simply told an objective

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