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The Same Tragic Fate But Different Identities

Author ZhangXinWen
Tutor QiTao
School Anhui University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Tennessee Williams Amanda Blanche tragic fate identities
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 32
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In the light of the theory of identity comparison, this dissertation makes a comparison between the two tragic identities, Amanda and Blanche, from Tennessee Williams’respective plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. Based on this comparative work, the dissertation is arranged as follows:Chapter one is a brief introduction of Tennessee Williams’life and his family, some studies on Williams by foreign and Chinese scholars, and a brief introduction to the structure of this dissertation.Chapter two is to explain the three similarities between Amanda and Blanche in their tragic fate. Firstly, both of them live in the quiet desperation:Amanda is abandoned by his husband with two little children and she has to support the family by herself; Blanche lost her parents, husband and home, she was raped by Stanley and abandoned by Mitch at last. Secondly, they have to live in illusion to escape the reality; Amanda often recalls her "good old days" and Blanche still images her as an elegant southern gentlewoman. Thirdly, both of them have the same flaws in their characters, such as nagging and being liars. The nagging of Amanda makes her daughter, Laura, loses confidence in life and drives her son, Tom, away from home; on the other hand, Blanche’s nagging results in the suicide of her husband and annoys Stella and Stanely, which was the reason she was driven out at last. Both Amanda and Blanche tell liars. Amanda would coax her friends to set magazines and use powder puff as gay deceiver, Blanche says that she never drinks wine and hides her true age from Mitch.Chapter three is to elaborate on the difference between them:Amanda is a realistic abandoned mother. For her great responsibility to her children, Amanda tried her best to earn money in selling magazines. She sends Laura to Rubican’s Business College and wants Laura could find a responsible husband. Blanche is a fragile escapist. When facing the crisis, she could do nothing except escape. She lacks the ability to face the reality without fantasy. Blanche depends on the kindness the strangers, which leads to her depravation in the small town. The present dissertation will demonstrate that such a difference is real-life-based:Amanda is a dramatization of Williams’ mother while Blanche is a dramatization of Williams’himself.Chapter four provides the conclusion of this dissertation, which is that the tragedies of Amanda and Blanche are the literary recreation of the tragedies of Williams and his mother in the real life; in this way, the tragedies of Amanda and Blanche are in fact the tragedies of the two generations in Williams’s family.

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