Streetcar Named Desire and Death of Salesman’s points of emphasis comparison This paper compares the means by which Streetcar Named Desire and Death of Salesman create moments of significance or points of emphasis and their success in doing so. We will analyse the Streetcar Named Desire, then we will conclude analysis of Death of Salesman, and finally comparison of the plays’ points of emphasis will be given. Streetcar Named Desire’s point of emphasis is the poker night after which Stanley hits Stella. This is considered to be the most important moment in the play that explains or clarifies other matters that were not precise or clear up to that point. The author widely uses symbolism in order to provide representations of the people’s follies and imperfections. One of the most important symbols that help the reader realize the play’s moment of significance is the imagery connected with the mythic archetype of the voyage which Williams portrays both as quest for an imagined ideal and as flight from disillusioning actuality. "They told me," says Blanche in her first speech, "to take a streetcar named Desire, and then to transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at— Elysian Fields" (Williams 2). Putting together the allegorical names of these streetcars and their destination at Elysian Fields with Williams's portrayal of Blanche as resembling a moth, traditionally a symbol of the soul, we find in her journey a submerged metaphor for the soul's disastrous voyage through life.
Caged in a body that it attempts to transcend but cannot escape, the soul strives for the star (Stella) and for rest in the isles of the happy dead; it finds, instead, the flaming "red hot" milieu of the primal blacksmith ("Stanley" or "stonelea" suggests the Stone Age man and "Kowalski" is Polish for "smith") and a world even more blatantly dedicated to "epic fornications" than its native Belle Reve, a world that shows every sign of prevailing (Williams 23-34). We are not surprised to learn that the agent of Blanche's journey to Elysian Fields, her school superintendent, is a Mr. Graves, and we can understand the implications of Blanche's statement late in the play, "The opposite of death is desire," to be more than merely sexual. Shuttling between yearning and frustration defines the basic rhythm of life itself for Blanche (Williams 45). Opening with her arrival in the land of life in death, the play chronicles the human soul's past and present excursions in the only vehicle that fate provides her, the rattle-trap streetcar of the body; the play closes with the soul's departure for incarceration in another asylum, another kind of living death. The Death of A Salesman’s point of emphasis is when Biff and Happy leave Willy alone at the restaurant.
It is the most significant moment in the play because it presents a transformation or even end-result of all the events that take place during the play. This is a story about a salesman (main character) named Willy Loman, his two children Happy and Biff, and his beautiful wife Linda. Willy struggles to make his way up the American capitalist ladder, but he is very unlikely to become successful in his attempts. Despite the fact that Willy would much rather be working with his hands, he is determined in the mindset that his true love could never make enough money. Displeasure after displeasure Willy decides that his only way to provide for his family would be to kill himself. Willy Loman represents the complete model to illustrate the disagreement of the American capitalist ideals. For instance, he is a salesman who wears an old suit that is creased during the course of the play. He drives a completely run down vehicle on the verge of extinction. While on the contrary, a suitable salesman must appear personable and attractive to market his products. As shown in the passage made by Biff at the end. “When he'd come from a trip; or on Sundays, making the stoop … You know something Charley, there's more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made” (Miller 138). Therefore the moment when Willy’s own children leave him at the restaurant illustrates the point that he was never been able to fit anywhere in his life or work.
The emphasis point is employed to show that people are likely to question the social values of the American capitalist system, and that some individuals will continue to pursue the ideals of that system on a daily basis regardless their feelings or living conditions. Both of the points of references in Death of the Salesman and Streetcar Named Desire refer to a certain moment in the characters’ lives when the matter that has been sizzling long ago in persons’ hearts gets outside. In other words, the moments of significance in these plays show that a person can’t restrain himself or herself forever. Sooner or later the individual will fail in the perpetual struggle with himself and then the limits that have been holding the individual will cease to exist and the whole situation will take a new turn. In Streetcar Named Desire, the ultimate aim of using the point of significance is to demonstrate that the proper sphere of Streetcar is not the socio-clinical one to which it is so often relegated, but the realm of the tragic-universal which is more often than not denied it. The epigraph to A Streetcar Named Desire is taken from Hart Crane's “The Broken Tower”: And so it was I entered the broken world To trace the visionary company of love, its voice An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled) But not for long to hold each desperate choice (Williams 64).
Besides focusing attention on Williams's positing of two broken worlds, both Belle Reve and Elysian Fields, and on the vision of life as a making of desperate choices, the epigraph introduces Williams's theme of the soul's quest for ideal love in the most unlikely of places—the broken world of actuality. Both the broken worlds which Williams compares and contrasts in the play bear wish-fulfilling names, but neither of these worlds fulfills Blanche's dreams of the ideal and of romantic love. The Death of Salesman’s point of emphasis shows that people should not struggle with their nature and should not get engaged I the activities that make them truly unhappy. Fortunately for Biff, he sets his future by the play's end. He comes to the realization that he and Willy were never meat to be salesmen. In other words, Biff understands that they were meant to be employed on a farm instead of selling goods. After failing to persuade his brother to come with him, Biff runs away from his home to continue on with the rest of his life. It seems to be the soundest choice for Biff, which is also the decision that Willy was never able to make.