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Sound in A Streetcar Named Desire
Transcript of Sound in A Streetcar Named Desire
Throughout the play, Blanche will hear this song whenever she begins to lose her grip
Especially important in scene 6 when Blanche tells Mitch about Allen and how she caught him cheating on her with another man “Polka music sounds, in a minor key faint with distance” The polka in the play Roshni, Kanice & Kaitlin Sound effect and music in "A Streetcar Named Desire" Polka tune (Varsouviana)
Symbolizes distress for Blanche as the music refers to the last dance she had with Allen
The creepy distortion of the polka matches the confusion and trouble in Blanche's mind The Blue Piano The polka is promptly played every time Blanche thinks about her deceased husband, Allen Grey.
It is a reminder and is symbolic of his death.
The polka also represents the disintegration of Blanche's world- his death was the starting point of her troubled and increasingly painful life journey. When Stanley gives her a ticket back to Laurel as a birthday present, she realizes that she is no longer wanted but yet she knows that she cannot go back to Laurel, given what has happen “The Varsouviana music steals in softly and continues playing” Last scene: Blanche believes that Shep Huntleigh has came but really it was the doctor “The Varsouviana is filtered with weird distortion, accompanied by the cries and noises of the jungle”
The polka could also represent Blanche's isolation. The Blue Piano in the play First mentioned in the stage directions of scene 1: “The blue piano expresses the spirit of the life which goes on there”
Always appears when Blanche is talking about the loss of her family and Belle Reve, but it is also present during her meeting and kissing of the young newspaper man
The adjective ‘blue’ then suggests depression and loneliness, and perhaps may even suggest her longing for love, her need for companionship and love, as with the scene where the paper-boy shows up. The Blue Piano in the play- Continuation Scene 9 when Mitch tells that he will not marry her due to her promiscuous past “the distant piano is slow and blue”.
Yet in scene 10, when she tries to get in touch with her Shep Huntleigh (her apparent lover), the blue piano grows louder. Perhaps this suggests that, when her hopes are rising, so does the piano.
Scene 11: Blanche is taken to the mental instituion, Stanley and his friends play poker “The luxurious sobbing, the sensual murmur fade away under the swelling music of the blue piano and the muted trumpet”. In this case, the blue piano accompanying the polka game, symbolizes Stanley’s victory over Blanche It's only a paper moon Blanche sings this ballad when she is bathing in scene 7.
The speaker in the song describes how if two lovers believe in their imagined reality, that it will not be 'make-believe' anymore.
It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phoney as it can be
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me. This is reflective of the approach Blanche takes to her life- she is living a lie and is trying to find someone to believe this lie. It's only a paper moon- Continuation In the play, the song appears at the point when Blanche is bathing and when Stanley is telling Stella about Blanche's promiscuous past.
Williams juxtaposes the fantasy that Blanche is living to the harsh reality of her life to emphasize Blanche's duality and deceptiveness.
This also establishes the theme of appearance vs. reality Thank you for watching!