This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors retain the copyright without restrictions for their published content in this journal. HSSR is a SHERPA ROMEO Green Journal.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE IMAGES OF LIGHT, DARKNESS AND THE MOTH IN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS' A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Corresponding Author(s) : Abdul Salam Mohamad Alnamer
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2020): May
Objectives of the study: This study aims to present a critical analysis of the significance of the images of light and darkness in association with the image of the moth in Tennessee Williams' most famous play: A Streetcar Named Desire. It also showcases the tremendous contribution of these images to the vigour and depth of many aspects of the play.
Methodology: The article presents a close analysis of textual evidence from the play, following a comparative approach in the study of these images, and is constructed around discussions of their contribution to the thematic and structural aspects of the play. Juxtaposing these images as part of the binary oppositions in the play reveals its richness and depth.
Main Findings: The images of light, darkness, and the moth serve a variety of purposes. They are strongly related to the thematic structure of and characterization in the play. They are also important for demonstrating the poetic touch characteristic of the play. The combination of the images illuminates Blanche's dilemma as a broken Southern belle, her frustration, inevitable deterioration, and eventual downfall.
Application of the study: This article contributes to the body of the critical study of Williams' drama, in particular, and the study of literature, in general. Given the variety of imagery in the literary canon in all genres, this study can be useful to students and researchers alike in their analyses and appreciation of the significance of imagery in literature.
The novelty of this study: This study opens up new venues for the discussion of the play. It also illuminates some aspects of the character of Blanche DuBois which cannot otherwise be illuminated and, at the same time, gives a deep insight into the play as a whole.
Download CitationEndnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS)
Adams, P. (2014). The Psychosocial Effects of Feminine Beauty in A Streetcar Named Desire. George Manuel and Dr. Cole Cheek Spartanburg Methodist College, 95.
Adler, J. H. (1977). Tennessee Williams' South: The Culture and the Power. Tennessee Williams: A Tribute, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Bak, J. S. (2004). Criticism on A Streetcar Named Desire: A Bibliographic Survey, 1947-2003. Cercles, (10), 3-32.
Bertens, H., & D'Haen, T. (2014). American Literature: A History. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203798430 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203798430
Boxill, R. (1987). Tennessee Williams. Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-18654-9 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-18654-9
Brogan, T. V., & Preminger, A. (1993). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton University Press.
Carmichael, K. M. (2017). From Supernumerary to Principal: The Role of Trauma as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
DiYanni, R. (2007). Literature, reading fiction, poetry, and drama. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Dutta, M. S. (2014). Exploring Violence And Terror In Tennessee Williams's Plays: Summer And Smoke, Sweet Bird Of Youth, A Streetcar Named Desire. An International Refereed e-Journal of Literary Explorations.2(3).
Eliot, T. S. (1974). Collected Poems 1909-1962. London, Faber & Faber.
Embrey, G. (1980). The Subterranean World of The Night of the Iguana. In J. Tharpe (Ed.). Tennessee Williams: 13 Essays. University Press of Mississippi.
Falk, S. (1985). Tennessee Williams. Twayne Publishers.
Foster, V. (2007). Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Tennessee Williams. In H. Bloom. (Ed.) Desire, Death, and Laughter: Tragicomic Dramaturgy in A Streetcar Named Desire (pp. 111-122). New York: Infobase Publishing.
Gencheva, A. (2016). Truth and illusion in Tennessee Williams'" A streetcar named desire". English Studies at NBU, 2(1), 31-41. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.16.1.3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.16.1.3
Griffin, A. (1995). Understanding Tennessee Williams. University of South Carolina Press.
Gros, E. (2010). The Southern Gentleman and the Idea of Masculinity: Figures and Aspects of the Southern Beau in the Literary Tradition of the American South. Diss. Georgia State University.
Kolin, P. C. (1993). Confronting Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. WestPoint: Greenwood Press.
Kinoshita, R. (2016). Drama Technique of Tennessee Williams―A Streetcar Named Desire―. The bulletin of the Graduate School, Soka University, (38), 75-105.
Llorens, C. D. (2003). The analysis of poetic imagery. Fòrum de Recerca, (9), 3.
Lund, M. (2018). Harold (Mitch) Mitchell's role in the demise of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Leviathan: Interdisciplinary Journal in English, 2, 46-53. https://doi.org/10.7146/lev.v0i2.104695 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7146/lev.v0i2.104695
Magdić, M. (2016). Gender Stereotyping in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Doctoral dissertation, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Department of English Language and Literature.
Maiman, N. (2004). Who Wants Real: I Want Magic!' Musical Madness in A Streetcar Named Desire, Master's thesis, University of Maryland.
Mavretić, Z. (2019). The Depiction of Women Characters in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, Doctoral dissertation, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Matos, X. A. (2015). Bodies that Desire: The Melodramatic Construction of the Female Protagonists of" The Glass Menagerie" and" A Streetcar Named Desire", by Tennessee Williams. Em Tese, 21(1), 130-149. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17851/1982-07184.108.40.206-149 DOI: https://doi.org/10.17851/1982-07220.127.116.11-149
Murphy, B. (2014). The Theatre of Tennessee Williams. London: Bloomsbury. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781472515452 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5040/9781472515452
O'Connor, J. (1997). Dramatizing Dementia: Madness in the Plays of Tennessee Williams. Popular Press.
Piccirillo, A. (2018). Hiding Behind the Closet Door: Representations of the Homosexual Experience in A Streetcar Named Desire. The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research, 19(1), 6.
Panda, R. N. (2016). Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire: A Study in Sexual/Textual Politics. IUP Journal of English Studies, 11(2), 50.
Roderick, J. M. (1977) From 'Tarantula Arms' to 'Delta Robbia Blue': The Tennessee Williams Tragicomic Transit Authority. In J. Tharpe (Ed.) Tennessee Williams: A Tribute: University Press of Mississippi.
Sternlicht, S. V. (2002). A Reader's Guide to Modern American Drama. Syracuse University Press.
Tharpe, J. (1997). Tennessee Williams: A Tribute. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Thompson, J. J. (2002). Tennessee Williams' Plays: Memory, Myth, and Symbol. New York: Peter Lang.
Van de Merwe-Lohn. (2018). Emancipation in the plays of Tennessee Williams by using the examples of" A streetcar named Desire"," The rose tattoo"," Cat on a hot tin roof", and" The night of Iguana", Diploma dissertation, uniwien.
Williams, T. (1982). A Streetcar Named Desire. Beirut: Librairie Du Liban Paperbacks.