How does Tennessee Williams use sound as a dramatic device in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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Throughout the play Williams uses external sounds as a kind of commentary on the action of the play, almost in the way a Greek chorus would function. During the initial confrontation between Stanley and Blanche, both the screeching of a cat and music—as throughout the play, a polka—punctuate the statements the two are making. Later, a street vendor's voice cries out, "Red-hot!" in anticipation of the poker night scene in which violence is going to occur. Later, the music on the radio is what causes Stanley to blow up; it symbolizes both Blanche's faded dreams and, ironically, the brutal behavior of Stanley toward her. Later in the scene, after Stanley has beaten up Stella, a low-tone clarinet is heard as she comes back down the stairs and the two reunite, making "low, animal moans."

Later, when Blanche confesses to Mitch the details about her marriage, the sound of a locomotive is heard just as she reveals that she found her husband together with another man. And then the polka music...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 801 words.)

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