Comparison Of Streetcar Named Desire And Death Of A Salesman

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Desire and strong passion are key elements in providing a reason for one’s behavior. In Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, and in Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller characters, Stanley, Blanche, Willy, and Happy are influenced by the emotions of lust, desire, and passion. Dramatic effects such as sympathy are created in the audience through the explorations of such motivation from each of the character’s emotions.

At the beginning of both plays, Willy and Blanche have an overpowering sense of desire to seek happiness. In the Death of a Salesman Willy desires to be successful and content with life by becoming wealthy through the idea of being “well-liked”, while in Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche craves to have love and affection from men to have a sense of glee and protection. Blanche wishes to captivate Mitch’s attention to her through flirting and her beauty in hopes of getting married to become financially secure as well as adored. Similarly, Willy constantly has the idea of being well-liked in the back of his head to guide his actions. Willy has suicidal thoughts so his son Biff is financially secure and with the purpose of others perceiving Willy as an enjoyable man because those are the qualities he deems are necessary to be successful which he strongly desires. The dramatic effect of tension between characters is achieved through the actions of Willy and Blanche when their desires are not occurring such as when Willy gets fired and when Mitch finds out about Blanche’s horrifying past.

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Furthermore, Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire and Happy in Death of a Salesman are both very cautious with their actions, however; their desires are completely contrasting. Stanley is devoted to revealing Blanche’s past by being extremely discreet because he believes she sold Belle Reve, the DuBois sister’s land for a luxurious lifestyle. On the other hand, Happy desires to attempt to be successful in life by carefully following the way of life of his father, Willy. Happy is a mirror of his father in the sense of having the same career and dedicating their lives to being well-liked by others. Tension is a dramatic effect that is aroused in the audience as well as the characters in Streetcar Named Desire because Blanche is constantly being mysterious and Stanley has a great ambition to reveal the truth. The tension allows the audience to foreshadow destroyed of Blanche’s fantasies and the making of Stanley’s desires. Nonetheless, in Death of a Salesman, the dramatic effect of a never-ending cycle is present when Happy has multiple affairs as his father had. The continuous cycle creates sympathy from the audience to Happy because he does not know the true success of life because of his father’s bad choices.

All in all, the characters Happy, Willy, Stanley, and Blanche all have desires and strong passions that lead to their motivation to commit their actions. Blanche and Willy both seem to be ambitious to have an enjoyable way of life through affection. Contrastingly, Stanley and Happy have different desires but have a similar way of achieving their passions. Overall, the dramatic effects that are achieved through the desires are tension within characters as well as the foreshadow of the plays as they progress.  


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