. Blanche embodies the theme of delusion and fantasy in attempts to keep the Old South alive. Themes present within A Streetcar Named Desire demonstrate how the characters individually express social change through their actions and words. . Arguing in favor of this way of conceptualizing power, Hanna Pitkin notes that power is related etymologically to the French word pouvoir and the Latin potere, both of which mean to be able. Stanley sees her demise and takes full advantage of it. . She then turns it on again, causing him to once again get mad, “snatch[ing] it off the table” and throwing it “out the window”(56). . . The tensions between Blanche and Stanley increases the longer she stays and represents the tensions and power struggles that can exist between the upper and lower classes. Blanche wants the radio on, and just because she wants it on, Stanley wants it off. Stella tells her sister that she can “get along fine” with Stanley, but cannot “compare him with other boys we went out with at home”(15), thus explaining that change in society is upon them, and it is not as bad as Blanche makes it seem. She acts as if she is still wealthy and prosperous, when in reality she has hit the end, being forced to live with Stella. She eventually realizes that reality is a world she is frightened of, a place where no one is on her side, a place of insecurity. As “she sinks to her knees”, the constant battle for power between the two is over and Stanley wins the power struggle by raping her. She could have held onto it, but she lived in a life of illusion, of a time where the upper class were deemed more important, a reality that no longer existed, that was falling apart. Since material life determines, or at least ‘conditions’ social life, the primary direction of social explanation is always from material production to social forms, and thence to forms of consciousness. Capital was less concerned with forecasting how capitalism would be overthrown, than considering how it … Macbeth-Struggle for Power 999 Words | 4 Pages. The Old South, once prosperous and powerful, becomes weak and unknown. It seemed then that he was able to break the barriers between the classes. It is again a transitional slogan for the struggle for power: the council-power of the council state in its not yet perfect or finished, but still incomplete and transitory, form. More immigrants were coming to America and a new working class was being established. He not only has power over Blanche, but full control of Stella as well. Special offer for LiteratureEssaySamples.com readers. . An example of this is when Sunny shows defiance in “Ponies”. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. She comes to visit her sister Stella because she lost Belle Reve, the southern estate where she and Stella grew up. More immigrants were coming to America and a new working class was being established. 233 1 Defining Class Struggle Under Capitalism . Liebknecht was imprisoned in 1916 for agitating against the war. Blanche is unable to connect and accept this modern society like Stella is. 234 1.1.1 The Capital Circuit . Near the end of the book, Stanley and Blanche have their last conflict of power. I will be writing and approaching the Marxist Criticism Theory and it’s ideologies about the characters belief, it’s economical influence and comparing the characters and how their wealth defines them. . Marxist literary theory falls into the category of SOCIETAL MIRRORS, or criticisms that reflect society (social mirrors also include postcolonialism, feminism, queer theory, affliction theory, and ecocriticism).Societal mirrors focus on the idea of The Other, a term for a person in society with little power or agency (the ability to change their circumstances). When Blanche says she did, he then gets angry and turns it off despite his friends saying it is fine being on. Tennessee Williams’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire, illustrates the struggle of power between economic classes and the changes taking place in America at that time, regarding social status. Both characters exert their power and do not want to give it up. Only Mr. Edgar Allan Poe!–could do it justice!”(9). . Life becomes an illusion of the past. At one point Blanche dresses herself in a “white satin evening gown and a pair of scuffed silver slippers”, then “ plac[ed] the rhinestone tiara on her head”, and “murmur[ed] excitedly as if to a group of spectral admirers”(131), pretending she was living in her past. The power struggle the two characters have throughout the play, demonstrates how different social classes attempt to dominate over each other to keep their power. The power struggle the two characters have throughout the play, demonstrates how different social classes attempt to dominate over each other to keep their power. This means that for Marx the commodity labour power has a special character in that it is the only commodity which can be employed to increase value, while all … struggles that are related to Marxist thoughts. When Stanley hits Stella, Blanche attempts to keep Stella away from Stanley, however he prevails and Stella comes back to him. In one scene, Blanche turns on the radio, in which Stanley then asks who turned it on. . If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. The strength of the British working class and its organisations was one of the main reasons which made Marx think th . Heathcliff’s character shifted from being a servant to a refined person. . In Marxist thought, the material basis of ideas provides an answer to the question of where consciousness (and also culture) comes from. Get tips and ideas in OUTLINE. However, Stella has changed. . The Old South, once prosperous and powerful, becomes weak and unknown. . In one scene, Blanche turns on the radio, in which Stanley then asks who turned it on. Stanley’s dominance over Stella led to his eventual dominance over Blanche. Still a Marxist, he viewed art, literature, education, and all its other elements through the … lens of a class struggle. Stanley is a Polish immigrant’s son born in America, who represents the new modern South. As Mclellan (1971) states, "it refers to class struggle mainly in the context of the struggle between capital and labour, within capitalism, rather than over its suppression." When Blanche says she did, he then gets angry and turns it off despite his friends saying it is fine being on. The constant tension between Blanche and Stanley represents the conflict between social classes, and the clash of old and new America. Stanley and Blanche demonstrate the clash between old and new, past and present, the rise of the industrial working class versus the aristocratic class. This group of people was on the rise, which introduced conflicts into the social arena. . . Viewing A Streetcar Named Desire through a marxist lens, shows how the tension between Blanche and Stanley represents the social conflicts that existed in America at the time of the play. struggle ofopposites, by a division, a dichotomy, ofevery unity into mutually exclusive opposites. . . Blanche has nowhere to turn except inward and so starts her slow decline towards insanity. The power struggle the two characters have throughout the play, demonstrates how different social classes attempt to dominate over each other to keep their power. The Old South, once prosperous and powerful, becomes weak and unknown. Then theory itself must also be considered as a struggle … When Blanche comes to the diverse, modern society of New Orleans, she begins to resent Stanley and the idea of a New South, while her romanticized Old South dwindles. Blanche represents the old South through her facade of a wealthy powerful woman. . It is also filled with harsh memories of her husband’s death, and so she hopes Stella will help her get back on her feet. . He sees his pregnant and glowing wife Stella preparing him dinner. As the conflict between Blanche and Stanley continues, Stanley’s power becomes stronger, with the rape of Blanche being the climax. Put another … Blanche wants the radio on, and just because she wants it on, Stanley wants it off. This group of people was on the rise, which introduced conflicts into the social arena. (For example, in Russia, from 7 November up to the breaking-up of the alliance with the Left SRs in the soviets.) Stanley and Blanche demonstrate the clash between old and new, past and present, the rise of the industrial working class versus the aristocratic class. By viewing the play through a marxist lens, one is able to pinpoint the power the upper class holds over the lower class, and how it eventually brings forth an upheaval of the classes. . “Sunny spins and runs…. . Both characters exert their power and do not want to give it up. . With Stella originally from a wealthy southern family, his ability to dominate her, shows the social change of the lower class controlling the once upper class. . He wants to have control over the situation, but letting her control the radio, would put her in complete control. The characters most heavily impacted by the conflict of the play are King Claudius, Ophelia, and, of course, Hamlet, himself. These events could cause the person to develop an illusion of reality that feels more secure […], Stanley Kowalski stumbles home drunkenly to his upstairs apartment. These had been given substance by the writings of French historians such as Adolphe Thiers and François Guizot on the French Revolution of 1789. . . Discussions of the state in the Marxist tradition have generally been situated amidst specific disputes about the strategies that working-class movements and parties should adopt in the face of organized political power. She then turns it on again, causing him to once again get mad, “snatch[ing] it off the table” and throwing it “out the window”(56). This scene represents one of many scenes in which there is a grapple for power. . Both together and individually, Blanche and Stanley represent social change within America. . Sunny cries, and there is nothing, only the sound if pounding hooves from the tight circle.” (Johnson 3). She fights to stay powerful and dominant, but finally realizes that this moment was doomed since “the beginning”(141). This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. . Viewing A Streetcar Named Desire through a marxist lens, one sees a clear distinction of social classes, the struggles existing between them and the ability to overcome and move up within the classes. The capitalist system caused the alienation of the Class, Revolution, And Power In Terry Eagleton's Hamlet 1385 Words | 6 Pages. . . . . Is the character of society as a whole shaped by the social forces existent in it or is the social differentiation a product of a particular political or cultural system? This new America is further demonstrated in the themes William’s brings out with Blanche and Stanley, namely delusion and fantasy, and masculinity and physicality, where each illustrates the changes in different ways. So, he made her life miserable and found ways to counter her every move, until all her power was finally taken away. Stanley was determined that Blanche would not undermine who was and make him seem weak and unimportant. She acts as if she is still wealthy and prosperous, when in reality she has hit the end, being forced to live with Stella. Only Mr. Edgar Allan Poe!–could do it justice!”(9). . Classic articulations of the latter definition of power (as power-to) are offered by Thomas Hobbes power is a persons present meansto obtain some future apparent Good (Hobbes 1985 (1641), 150) and Hannah Arendt power is the human ability not just to act but to act in concert (1970, 44). Blanche is critical about the appearance of New Orleans, the place where Stanley brought Stella. He is able to overcome her in this situation, foreshadowing his eventual victory in the power struggle. Stanley sees her demise and takes full advantage of it. Yet, what Heathcliff did was the total reversal of power. . Nevertheless, the underdeveloped character of the state, and the relative weakness of the military-bureaucratic caste was only one element in Marx’s opinion that a peaceful transformation might have been possible in 19th century Britain. Reality or Illusion in the Streetcar Named Desire, Compare the role that patriarchal ideology plays in A Doll House and A Streetcar Named Desire, The use of contrast as a literary device at the start of A streetcar Named Desire, History defined the themes on A Streetcar Named Desire, A comparison between the Plastic Theatre and Expressionism in A Streetcar Named Desire, Evaluation of the Authors Writing Style As Illustrated In Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Named Desire, Effects of war:How PSTD is depicted in the ife of Stanley Kowalski, Illusions Causing Rejections of Uncertain Futures, How Blanche Dubois is portrayed in Scene 6, A marxist criticism of A streetcar Named Desire. . This quote, that was spoken by Jack Merridew, relates closely to Marxist Literary Criticism because it showcases the overall power struggle between the group of boys. . On his release in 1918 he took the leadership of the Spartacus League, which was later to become the Communist Party of Germany. Suddenly, Stanley challenges her, which causes her to grapple with her once dominant power. Concept of Power and Domination – Foucault Foucault’s development of the theory of power has adopted two different approaches. Marx denoted that the power struggle was the culminating point. Marxism - Marxism - Class struggle: Marx inherited the ideas of class and class struggle from utopian socialism and the theories of Henri de Saint-Simon. . When Blanche reaches Elysian Fields, she is unable to process how Stella lives in such a “ horrible place”(Williams 8). British literary theorist, analyzed the works of Karl Marx in the nineteenth century. Blanche comes from a wealthy family from the South, who embodies the ideals of the Old South. When Stanley hits Stella, Blanche attempts to keep Stella away from Stanley, however he prevails and Stella comes back to him. However, Stanley dominates at the end, representing the rise of the new modern South. She says that “never in” her “worst dreams could” she “picture” a place like this, “Only Poe! He “pulled” Stella from “them columns”(121) of Belle Reve, to place her at his level. . . . . Of course it never works. Among German Marxists who opposed the war were Karl Liebknecht and Luxemburg. This shows how Stanley is now in control, and has dominance and power, overcoming the upper class, bringing upheaval to the social hierarchy. However, this illusion of a prosperous and upper class life, is in reality falling apart. . In other words, Marxists view class struggle, wealth defines the characters and view literature as products of the economic. . Without explanation, he feels an uncontrollable rage of emotions. The experience of 'actually existing socialism' offers an excellent opportunity to look at the disjunction between the domain of power and that of production. But it was by no means the only reason. Stanley “springs toward[s]” Blanche, and she “strikes at him with the bottle top”(141), in attempt to stop him from raping her. Blanche comes from a wealthy family from the South, who embodies the ideals of the Old South. Throughout his plays, and particularly in […], A Streetcar Named Desire is a play which reflects the cultural tension that pervades after World War II. but there are more of the others and they are bigger, and Sunny doesn’t have her wings to fly or her horn to fight. . . Marxist Ways of Reading Through Marxist criticism you will see writers looking at texts from a specific political per-spective: one which focuses on the struggles between social classes and the struggles be-tween those who oppress and those who are oppressed and between those who have pow-er and those who do not. . So, to remain in the “world” of the Old South, she must live in a fantasy, as this is the only way to find peace and harmony. When Blanche told Stella Stanley raped her, Stella “couldn’t believe her story”(144), so sent her to a mental institution. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. . He “pulled” Stella from “them columns”(121) of Belle Reve, to place her at his level. Power is something many desire where people often change and become evil in their attempts to acquire it and during this play the characters go through many changes which lead to disaster. 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