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?

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Streetcar Named Desire - Contrasting Imagery

In this lesson we learned to understand how Williams uses dichotomies in scene 4 of the play; as well as comment on the impact on the plays Binary Oppositions.

So a Dichotomy is a division into two contradicting or mutual parts. This became a factor when we looked at Blanche's and Stella's different views.

And a Binary Opposition is contrasting directly opposed terms that are independent in its meaning but related in some form. for example night and day, or rational or irrational.

The first task we did was to look at a large list of words that had a connection to the play; with these words we would link them to those that are related - this was our introduction to Binary Oppositions.

We came up with many ideas and links with these words but the main oppositions we looked at were:

- Reason & Truth

- Illusion & Lies

- Disordered & Wild

- Ordered & Civilised

These were the oppositions that we were focusing on before we continued to analyse scene 4.

This task helped us to identify the dichotomies within the scene and class them under these binary oppositions which was needed as we analysed Blanche's and Stella's conversation.

Scene 4

As we went through the scene we categorised different quotes under the main binary oppositions. For example we looked at how Blanche believes that Stella is in a position that she doesn't want to be in, which would go under "illusion and lies" whereas Stella believes that there is no place she rather be than where she is now, which would alternatively go under "reason and truth". This contrast between views was seen a frequently during Blanche's and Stella's conversation. From here we saw that through different perspectives of the characters we can interpret some of the characters views differently, as well as highlight where Williams applied these dichotomies. In addition we found that we were working in AO3 as a range of interpretations can be formed.

Despite looking at what the characters said we also worked at AO2, looking at HOW Blanche uses language to create effect and stress her points to Stella, like her frequent pausing, interrupting herself as she tries to make sense of what she is trying to say.

That's all I could think of...



  1. well done eddie!
    I think this is a really good blog as it helps me to understand a basic idea of what happened in the lesson. The definition of the keywords helped me as I had never heard those words before and also the way you matched it up to the play.


  2. This is a good blog, and explains the main parts of the lesson well. Also by putting up the definitions of keywords, it helps to reinforce the meanings.

  3. This is a really good blog :)
    It helped me further understand the binary oppositions and how sometimes one sentence can go into two different ones.


  4. this is a very descriptive. it helped me to understand how binary oppositions can be categorised.

  5. really detailed blog, well done Eddie - the pic at the end has gotta be a baby photo...? :D


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