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How does the setting in A Streetcar named Desire set the mood?

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amiriskl | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM via web

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How does the setting in A Streetcar named Desire set the mood?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 22, 2011 at 6:32 PM (Answer #1)

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The establishment of New Orleans helps to bring to light the fact that the South has definitely changed.  From the upbringing of both sisters at Belle Reve to a modern metropolis like New Orleans, the South of the past has long since passed.  In this light, the feeling of different worlds is evoked.  Blanche's discomfort is also akin to the setting because she, too, is of a different time and world.  The South that she knew is long gone and in its place is this new vision where she cannot be assimilated.  The fact that the area of New Orleans in which Stella and Stanley live is working class or poor also brings to light the difficulty of this modern vision for someone like Blanche, who is used to the "finer things" or at least believes herself to be worthy of these elements.  There is not much in way of happiness or contentment in this setting, and this helps to establish Blanche's emotional climate, where there is much unsettled and little that is constant.

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