Monthly Archives: September 2012

Scene 7 — How shocking are the relevations about Blanche in this scene?

Learning Objectives: to develop your ability to use appropriate terminology; to learn how to analyse and interpret.

How does Williams make this moment so revealing?

STELLA: This is making me — sick!

STANLEY: The boy’s dad learned about it and got in touch with the high school superintendent. Boy, oh, boy, I’d like to have been in that office when Dame Blanche was called on the carpet! I’d like to have seen her trying to squirm out of that one! But they had her on the hook good and proper that time and she knew that time and she knew that the jig was all up! They told her she better move on to some fresh territory. Yep, it was practickly a town ordinance passed against her!

The bathroom door is open and BLANCHE thrusts her head out holding a towel about her hair.

BLANCHE: Stella!

STELLA (faintly) Yes, Blanche?

BLANCHE: Give me another bath-towel to dry my hair with. I’ve just washed it.

When analysing think about:

Word classes: nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs,

Syntax: Sentence moods: declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory; sentence types: minor, simple, complex; listing: syndetic and asyndetic;

(Syndetic means connected by a conjunction, asyndetic means with a comma instead of a conjunction.

Syndetic: Birds flock and wheel and cry.

Asyndetic: Birds flock, wheel, and cry.)

Ellipsis: The omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or be understood from contextual clues.

  • A set of dots indicating such an omission.

Vocabulary: connotations, semantic fields;

Figurative language: metaphor, simile, personification, symbolism

Register: Formal, informal: genre, audience, topic



Phonology: Alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme

Tenses: past, present, future

Narrative viewpoint: 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person.

Scene 6: learning about semantic fields

Learning Objectives: to learn about the terminology connected with semantic fields; to develop your speaking and listening skills; your ability to ask high order questions; to develop your reading skills.

Terminology to learn and apply:

Semantic field; this is words which are linked in meaning.

Low-frequency lexis: unusual or rarely spoken/written words

High-frequency lexis: common words

This scene focuses upon Mitch and Blanche’s unfolding relationship. Key discussion point: How does Williams represent Blanche and Mitch in this scene?

TASK: Read in your group the scene and look for words which have the common semantic field of:






Or any other semantic field that you can find.

DISCUSS in your group: WHAT are the words and phrases that employ the semantic field of love/loss/trauma/family? WHO employs these semantic fields and why? WHERE and WHEN does this happen? Write out the phrases that are linked by these semantic fields and explain their effects to your group. Then write down your thoughts.

WHAT are the EFFECTS of these semantic fields, of these words that linked by meaning and theme?

Scene 5: Developing a Creative Response; an examination of Blanche’s sexuality

Starter: please take the Spark Notes quiz on Streetcar and report your mark to Mr Gilbert

Learning Objectives: develop your analytical skills; develop your knowledge and usage of key terminology; develop your creative skills.


What are some key nouns/verbs/adjectives/adverbs that Blanche uses? How does she make language “sexy”? How does she sexualise the world? What does she do to certain words or lexis that is interesting?

PERSON 1: Nouns

PERSON 2: Verbs

PERSON 3: Adjectives

PERSON 4: Adverbs


Write a paragraph which answers this question: How does Williams use language and dramatic techniques to reveal Blanche’s complex state of mind?

CREATIVE RESPONSE: Imagine you are the negro messenger, write his diary entry about what happened to him with Blanche.

Scene 4: How does Williams make the changing relationships in the play intriguing? How does he make Blanche such complex and fascinating character?

Learning Objectives: to develop your ability to ask high-order questions; to learn how to interrogate a text in depth; to learn to use some relevant A Level Language terminology

Scene 4: How does Williams make the changing relationships in the play intriguing? How does he make Blanche such a complex and fascinating character?

Read the scene in groups and hold an in-depth discussion about it.

In your group, each person will have a specific question word to ask around the group.

TERMINOLOGY TO USE AND LEARN: Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs; spot them and say what the EFFECT is of the noun/verb/adjective/adverb etc…

PERSON 1: What? What has happened? What makes this noun/verb/adjective/adverb/word/image particularly important/significant/dramatic? What is the text’s purpose?

PERSON 2: Why? Why is this noun/verb/adjective/adverb/word/image particularly important/significant/dramatic/telling/thought-provoking?

PERSON 3: How? How is this author making this noun/verb/adjective/adverbs particularly exciting/suspenseful/intellectually stimulating?

PERSON 4: Who? Who is the most important/significant character in the scene? Who is the audience for this text?

HOMEWORK: Answer these two questions.

How does Williams make the changing relationships in the play intriguing? How does he make Blanche such complex and fascinating character?

Why is Scene 3 of the play so violent and disturbing?

Learning Objectives: to develop your reading skills by learning how to work out the underlying meanings of the play — its symbolism, its themes, its use of subtext. To reflect upon the key themes and topics of the play; domestic violence and sexual desire. To learn about patriarchal discourses of control and power. To develop your own powers of reader-response.

Some useful terminology:

Patriarchal discourses: these are groups of words, phrases which are used by men to assert control and power over women. You can look for them in any text (every day speech, plays, poems etc) The whole point of these words is they carry the message that men are better than women.

Feminist discourses: these are discourses (groups of words) that assert women’s EQUALITY with men. They are NOT the opposite of patriarchal discourses which assert that men are better than women. The opposite of “patriarchal discourses” is “matriarchal” discourses, where women assert that they are better than men (very rare!)

Respond down below by writing your own “reader response” diary about the scene, describing your own feelings at different points in the scene. What do you think of Stanley, Stella, Blanche and Mitch at different points in the scene? When are the times that you are irritated/intrigued/annoyed/scared etc of certain characters?

Some points to think about in your diary

Stanley explodes in Scene 3. Why do you think Williams has characterised him in this way? How is masculinity represented here? What patriarchal discourses are used by him and why? Do you think Williams is trying to say anything about the ways in which men seek to control women?


Here some excerpts from the 1951 film of this scene:

The Rhumba dance:

Stanley crying for Stella:

A rather entertaining school production:

Powerpoints on the early scenes in the play.

Having read the first three scenes, look at these PowerPoints not only to help you understand the play, but also to critique them. How helpful are they? Do you agree with the points they make? Would you make others?

Respond below.