This assignment requires a student to choose a topic from a list and then write an essay responding to the chosen prompt. Of the prompts, perhaps the best choice is "2. Characterize the essential differences between the Kowalski and the DuBois worlds", as it asks for a fairly straightforward compare and contrast essay.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams portrays the clash between two worlds, that of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. A compare and contrast essay about these could be organized as an introduction and then several body paragraphs addressing different themes:
- Introduction: Discuss how the play is not just an account of a conflict between individuals but between their worlds and ways of thinking.
- Old vs. New South: The world of Blanche is of the Old South, rooted in history and tradition and looks back to the past, whereas that of Stanley in individualistic and grounded in the present.
- Upper vs. Lower Class: Blanche's world is that of an upper class aristocracy and Kowalski's of the working class.
- Rural vs. Urban: Blanche's world is rural, with the upper classes owning large houses and lands in the older plantation economy while Kowalski's is urban, located in apartment buildings in a city and grounded in industry rather than agriculture.
- Feminine vs. Masculine: Blanche's world is feminine, valuing manners, civility and social cohesion, while Kowalski's is hypermasculine, emphasizing competition and physical aggression.
See the eNotes analysis of the play for extended background information and a bibliography of useful secondary sources.