What is the importance of setting in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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Alongside the significance of New Orleans, outlined very well in a previous response, perhaps the other most important use of setting occurs in scene 10. Scene 10 is an excellent example of William's use of a staging method known as "plastic theatre," which is when the setting on stage is manipulated so as to parallel the state of a character's mind or/and emotions.

In scene 10, Blanche is confronted by Stanley, who stalks after her through the apartment. He is presented as the predator, and she is presented as the prey. As the scene builds to its horrifying climax , Blanche's emotions also build to a climax, and her mental state becomes more and more unstable. Indeed, the climax of this scene marks the point in the play where Blanche's mental instability becomes madness. This is echoed by the setting of the scene on stage. We hear "inhuman voices like cries in the jungle," and these voices become louder and louder, and we hear the "blue piano . . . turn into a roar of an approaching...

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