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Student essay #1: A Streetcar Named Desire

Describe the use of light in the opera. What does its presence or absence indicate?

street12revThe use of the lighting was effective because it helped me understand the mood of the story. I noticed that the red lights were used to show anticipation of the story, as was used in the beginning of the opera to show the tension of Blanche meeting her sister after such a long time; the green lights were used to show Blanche going into insanity; the blue lights were used to represent sorrow, and the bright yellow lights with the dark background were used to create a dramatic effect of the southern summer heat.

I thought that the lighting designer did an effective job in creating a dramatic effect at the climax of the story because that was the part that drew me into the story the most. There were times where the lights got more intense and I noticed that when it did get more intense the story was trying to develop even further, as in the rape scene. The changes in lights allowed me to see the story as it advanced and showed me what the characters were doing at the moment. It also showed the audience the changes from daylight to midnight by using the contrasts from the amber and the cool blue colors.

Using evidence from the play and opera, try to determine which is the real Blanche, the innocent and charming Blanche or the desperate, alcohol-dependent Blanche 

Using the evidence from the play, I believe that the real Blanche is the desperate, alcohol-dependent Blanche because she lies a lot to the people around her and instead of living with her sister, “like a queen”, she could have been trying to solve her problems by herself instead of waiting for the problem to be solved for her. Blanche seems to be dependent on someone doing things for her while she lives in luxury. This is in contrast to her sister, Stella, who used to act the same way but changed due to the changes in her environment from her marriage to Stanley.

Peter Phal, Mt. Pleasant High School

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