of the “Blue Piano” around the corner. The music is unrelenting, pacing Blanche’s predicament after Stanley discovers her duplicity.
The tune expresses Blanche’s failed transition to alien culture. The “Blue Piano” reaches its crescendo with Blanche’s birthday, fading out and returning, to be replaced by the polka which is carried into scene nine. Again, direction is explicit “The rapid, feverish polka tune……. is in her mind; “. (Stage direction, Scene nine) Blanche can hide no more when a suitor, Mitch, divulges his disgust, rejecting Blanche, after clumsily attempting to be intimate with her.
He is a symbol that foreshadows the American Dream’s real-life duality and psychopathy, a non-character that juxtaposes Blanche to expose her shame and fall from grace. He is a man that she would not have given a second look at in her former glory, exposing her desperation. The blue piano returns as “the distant piano … slow and blue” (Stage direction, scene nine), expressing Blanche’s helplessness and hopelessness. Music is also used to portray Blanche’s sassy side, but this becomes farce. “Rhumba music comes over the radio.
” (Stage direction, scene three) adding a sense of passion behind Blanches façade, and Mitch’s willingness to follow her (Scene three), foreshadowing the betrayal Mitch will experience from Blanche’s duplicity alluding to Mitch’s character as a follower not a leader and symbolising those from the North who will always be losers.Streetcar was certainly ground-breaking and remains popular seventy years on. The realism of “plastic theatre” results in an immersive experience for the audience but not the average reader. Without music and lighting direction Streetcar would be flat, but Williams creates a multi-dimensional experience that still wows audiences today. The scenes are easy to grasp, and the tension is cumulative, climaxing in Scene Ten. Suspense builds in Blanches interaction with Stanley, her delusions and paranoia expressed, “I’m caught in a trap,” (scene ten), the “low honkey tonk” (Stage direction, scene one) juxtapose to Blanche’s expressed emotion.
Stanley’s perverse statement to Blanche, “We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!” alludes again to fate and desire and foreshadows the climax and rape of Blanche. The action falls drastically with the denouement in Scene Eleven. Blanche is removed from the society that has no room for her whilst life goes on around her with an ordinary game of cards. The brutal reality is exposed… the American Dream is certainly a Nightmare.