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1. Introduction to 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
About this Lecture
In this module, we provide some literary and historical context for the play. Having introduced Tennessee Williams himself, we think about the United States of the late 1940s, a country that was in many ways still coming to terms with the impact of the US Civil War, and one which was to yet the US Civil Rights movement of the mid-1950s and 1960s.
In this course, we explore Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The first module provides some historical and literary context for the play; we introduce Tennessee Williams himself, and think about what kind of person he was, before focusing on what life was like in the South United States in the late 1940s, when the play was written. In the remaining modules, we go through each of the play’s eleven scenes one-by-one, providing close reading of key moments throughout the play.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
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Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire - Introduction to 'A Streetcar Named Desire' [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/williams-a-streetcar-named-desire/introduction-to-a-streetcar-named-desire
McRae, John. "Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire – Introduction to 'A Streetcar Named Desire'." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/williams-a-streetcar-named-desire/introduction-to-a-streetcar-named-desire