What could be the genre of A Streetcar Named Desire, other than a tragedy?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Williams' work can be seen as a tragedy in a couple of ways.  The first would be that Bradley's interpretation of Hegel reveals the concept of a "tragic collision."  This vision of tragedy is one whereby the individual is poised between equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action.  Blanche would be placed in this "tragic collision."  She is poised between these polarities.  On one hand, Blanche sees one aspect of her being as the allure of her past, of Belle Reve, and of what society used to be.  On the other side of this is the condition in which Blanche seeks appreciation and to be accepted.  Implicit in this is a rejection of the past and an embrace of the present or future, something that Blanche, herself, cannot accept or comprehend.  Tragedy is evident in this collision, in which Blanche becomes a heroine of tragedy.  This same paradigm can be applied to Stella, who has to fundamentally choose between Stanley and Blanche.  The choice is a brutal and agonizing one because the acceptance of one means the rejection of the other.  In these ways, tragedy is an apt classification of Williams' work.

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