The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A street car named desire

Today in class we began to look into the historical content of a street car named desire, we were put in too groups of four and asked to analyse a text to see what we could find out about the conflicts of the American civil war and how the war can be linked to tragedy. In our groups we all choose parts of the text different parts of the text to analyse for example one group looked at the author, Tennessee Williamsand, life. Others choose to look at the conflict between the north and south and how it links to A street car named desire and others choose to look more into the south and how they feel they have no shame or care that they use slaves .

We also looked at the conflicts of different people groups such as genders, races, sexuality and poor and rich and how it links to the book . We also spent 10 minutes looking at the epigraph

And so it was I entered the broken world

To trace the visionary company of love, its voice

an instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)

but not for long to hold each desperate choice.

We then choose out key words that might have more of a meaning to tragedy such as broken world, love, instant and desperate choice. Finally we looked at the difference between freedom and equality and how if someone has freedom to do whatever they like and follow the American dream then they can’t really have equality as it limits a person’s dream to a what everyone else gets as well as this we looked at the Greek concept Elysium and how that relates to the south of being this place of heaven while the rest America is this sort of underworld.


  1. Very good recap of the elements in the lesson :), just to add that we looked at the epigraph of A Streetcar Named Desire and simaltaneously learnt the importance of an epigraph - which is to emphasise the most significant elements of the story/play/novel ahead. In the case of Streetcar, this epigraph is meant to prepare us (the reader) for a modern tragedy as it holds all the complexity and density Williams wanted in his play.

    In addition to what has already been said about the lesson we also began to read the play towards the ending of the lesson as we were now armed with the context we needed to understand it. So advice to those who might have missed out on the reading ask Sir for a book and catch up!

    Well done for the entry!


  2. Thanks for the post, by putting the whole lesson into this context its really helped me understand it even more. The whole concept of tragedy in the epigraph was sort of difficult to grasp. However by picking it apart it became easier. Overall the lesson was really good. Especially when we started reading.


  3. In addition to the original post we also looked briefly at the historical context of Tennessee Williams (the author) where we see how his own life experiences aspired him to write the play.

    heh writing intellectually is fun...


  4. Thanks for writing the first student blog.

    In future comments, focus on the learning outcomes of the research: what did you learn about the American Civil War? What is the importance of America's conflict for our modern domestic tragedy?

    Mr Gall

  5. This post has summed up the lesson well, and has helped me to understand what the other groups discovered as I didnt quite grasp that in the lesson (might have been Bradley's precise time keeping ha!)

    I also thought dissecting the epilogue and annotating it was great as it gave us an incite as to what to expect in the book. I enjoyed reading what we did of the book in class last lesson, the time period seems interesting and the characters too. It was good being Stella.

    And I'm looking forward to reading more.

    PS, I'm Stella from now on! :D

  6. i like your description of our analysis of the epigraph, but i disagree with how you describe the south as "having no shame" and "didnt care if they used slaves". I believe instead of them having no shame, i believe it was their rural aristocratic beliefs that they thought they were better than the slaves and they deserve to be able to use them.

    Our lesson gave us a good base to our research of the story and the social and historical contexts from the time of the book being set

    Ray T

  7. This summary is a good recap of our lesson.

    Breaking down the epilogue and analysing specfic words was really helpful as it gave us a better idea of what the book may be about.

    From this we also managed to link the book to tragedy as we identified there being some sort of loss and thwarted passion.