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The Interpretation of The Handmaid's Tale and A Streetcar Na

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Ashley Taylor

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of The Interpretation of The Handmaid's Tale and A Streetcar Na

The Interpretation of
The Handmaid's Tale
A Streetcar Named Desire

Is the time and place a story is taking place.
Ex. His novel is set in Russia.
The purpose of Jenga is to demonstrate to the audience that many factors in a story build up to develop the theme. If a factor from the story is removed, the themes can be changed and interpreted differently. Factors include the setting, characters, and imagery the author contributes to the story.
Direct Statements
Statements from the books
A Streetcar Named Desire
The Handmaid's Tale
that add to the discovery of the themes
in the stories.
The meaning of the story.
Is the central or dominating idea but not neccesarily to teach a lesson.
The theme is not:
The moral of the story
Subject of the story
"Hidden meaning" that needs to be pulled out of the story.
The theme is:
Based on the entire book
Something that humans experience that the author wants to tell us about.

In the stories,
The Handmaid's Tale
A StreetCar Named Desire
, the authors include themes that add to the meaning of the story by building up factors of language, literary devices, character viewpoints, and how the reader receives the conflicts: thus important factors contribute to the thematic focus by demonstrating a need for the reader to form an opinion on the dystopian society and the impact of looking for desire.

Figurative or descriptive language in a literary work.
Ex. The sky was a dark and stormy blue.
Words that appeal to the five senses
The representation of something in symbolic form or the attribution of symbolic meaning or character to something.
Ex. Life is a roller coaster
the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
Ex. Edward Cullen from Twilight
Characters can be developed by their qualities, appearances, actions, beliefs, and thoughts.
Literary Analysis
By Ashley Taylor and Briana Sanford
The Handmaid's Tale: Theme
A Streetcar Named Desire's: Theme
Ignorance is Bliss.
Things in the dark will always come to light.
Everything is not what is seems.
Ignorance is Bliss
Stella refuses to hear or believe anything bad about Blanche. She does not believe Stanley when he tells the truth about Blanche. Stella would rather not know about Blanche's past because she wants to keep the peace. Stella remaining in the dark about Blanche's promiscuous life helps her pretend that her sister is living the social norm.

"Open your eyes to this stuff! You think she got them out of a teacher's pay?" (Williams 33)
Things hidden in the dark will always come to life
Blanche is desperately trying to keep her past underwraps. She puts on a facade in front of everyone she meets at Elysian Fields. Blanche tells people stories about a fantasy life she had before she came to visit them. From the beginning, Stanley did not believe Blanche's stories. Stanley eventually recieved the proof he needed to prove that Blanche was deceiving them.

Blanche 's Darkness vs. Light

"The trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn't put on her act any more in Laurel! They got wised up after two or three dates with her and then they quit, and she goes to another, the same old line, same old act, same old hooey!" (Williams 121)
Everything is not what it seems
Stanley and Stella have a seemingly perfect marriage in the beginning of the book. However, once Blanche shows up, the reader starts to notice some problems. Blanche is getting in between Stanley and Stella. Problems start to resurface. The problems were already there, yet Blanche was the catalyst that tipped them over.

"You can't beat on a woman an' then call 'er back! She won't come! And her goin' t' have a baby! . . . You stinker! You whelp of a Polack, you! I hope they do haul you in and turn the fire hose on you, same as the last time!" (Williams 66)
The Handmaid's Tale: Setting
Takes place in Gilead
They a controlled government
A Streetcar Named Desire: Setting
Location: New Orleans, Lousiana
Elysian Fields
Time: 1940's
Government: Democracy

A Streetcar Named Desire: Imagery
"Sure he's got ants now. Seven five-dollar bills in his pants pocket folded up tight as spitballs." (Williams 56)

Theme: Get out when ahead.

The quote and theme can also be applied to Blanche's life.
The Handmaid's Tale: Imagery
"I once had a garden. I can remember the smell of the turned earth, the plump shapes of bulbs held in the hands, fullness, the dry rustle of seeds through the fingers." (Atwood 12)
The Handmaid's Tale: Character Analysis
"I was still on my first job, which didn't pay much: I worked a computer in an insurance company. So the hotels, with Luke, didn't mean only love or even only sex to me. They also meant time off from the cockroaches, the dripping sink, the linoleum that was peeling off the floor in patches, even from my own attempts to brighten things up by sticking posters on the wall and hanging prisms in the windows" (Atwood 172)
A Streetcar Named Desire: Character Analysis

Characters relation to theme:
helps develop the theme
discovers the characters motivates

Magic over Realism
Sexuality/ Questionable Purity
Need for Control
Fear of the Unknown
Peace Keeper
A Streetcar Named Desire: Direct Statements

"I bought this adorable little colored paper lantern at a Chinese shop on Bourbon. Put it over the light bulb! Will you, please?" (Williams 55)

"You can't beat on a woman an' then call 'er back! She won't come! And her goin' t' have a baby!... You stinker! You whelp of a Polack, you! I hope they do haul you in and turn the fire hose on you, same as the last time!" (Williams 60)

“When she comes in be sure to say something nice about her appearance. And, oh! Don't mention the baby. I haven't said anything yet, I'm waiting until she gets in a quieter condition. “ (Williams 26)

“Astrological sign. I bet you were born under Aries. Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on noise! They love to bang things around! You must have had lots of banging around in the army and now that you're out, you make up for it by treating inanimate objects with such a fury” (Williams 79)

“Lately you been doing all you can think of to rub her the wrong way, Stanley, and Blanche is sensitive and you've got to realize that Blanche and I grew up under very different circumstances than you did.” (Williams 105)

The Handmaid's Tale: Direct Statements

“I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will . . . Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping.” (Chapter 13)

"I'll pretend you can hear me. But it's no good, because I know you can't." (Chapter 7)

"She doesn't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn't seem to agree with her. How furious she must be now that she has been taken at her word." (Chapter 8)

The Handmaid's Tale: Symbols
Symbols in the play:
The Bible
A Streetcar Named Desire: Symbols
A Streetcar Named Desire: Literary Analysis
The themes in The Handmaid's Tale and A Streetcar Named Desire are developed throughout the story by using a series of factors to analyze the plot. Every factor (setting, plot, imagery) effects the theme by helping the reader discover the motives and goals that each character possess.
Works Cited

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Signet, 1974. Print.

Atwood, Margaret. Collapse: The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: Round Table, 1998. Print.

Don't take things for granted
"How I used to despise such talk. Now I long for it. At least it was talk. An exchange, of sorts." (Atwood 11)
"I would have liked to ask also for some bath oil, in those little colored globules you used to be able to get, that were so much like magic to me when they existed in the round glass bowl in my mother's bathroom at home" (Atwood 158)
Becareful who you can trust
"Bitch, she says. After all he did for you." (Atwood294)
"It's all right. It's Mayday. Go with them" (Atwood 293)
Setting relates to the theme by allowing the story to have a basis, without the setting the story would be incapable of developing a theme.
Symbols in the play are:
Tennessee Williams uses figurative language in A Streetcar Named Desire to help the reader infer the many themes throughout the story. The major theme in the story, everything is not what it seems, is taken into consideration when reading the play because it gives bigger meaning to the story.
Offred is referring to the way her life use to be and the things she use to be able to do before the dystopian society took over.
Theme: Don't dwell on the past
This quotation from the story shows what kind of person Offred was before she was forced into a dystopian society
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