New South/Old South

I really thought J.B.’s critique on the two plays was really insightful and clever.  He definitely brought something extra from his performance experience.  I really liked his connection between Summer and Smoke being the Old South and A Streetcar Named Desire being the New South.  Even though I am unfamiliar with the former, he definitely still portrayed it in a way that I understood what was going on and how it related to the new play.  I also wonder how his reading would have changed if he had performed both plays-that would be an interesting insight.

4 Responses to “New South/Old South”

  1. semilunatic says:

    An interesting query considering that he would be looking at the characters from with in play and as a part of it. Yet, JB play a relatively minor role in the play Summer and Smoke as Roger, the female lead character’s appreciated but unwanted beau (if I summarized that accurately, anyway). If he did act in A Streetcar Named Desire, what role would he play? One similiar to that of S&S? In that case I guess it would be Mitch. My reasoning for this would be most acutely be demonstrated by a digram, but lacking that I try anyway: In S&S, between Alma (fem. lead), John Buchanan Jr. (male lead) and the character Roger there exists a love triangle which gives structure but little entertainment of itself under the conflict between Alma and John Jr. (No Twilight threesome here, ha!) Keeping this polygon in mind, that of the characters interacting we can see Williams applied a similiar shape between the characters in Streetcar: between Blanche, Stanely and Mitch. Two boys, one girl and major conflict conflict between two. Yet Mitch’s postion of beau-on-the-wayside–if we were to see it that way–is pushed by his having a more active role than Roger’s, even though his conflict with Blanche is rather more fuel for the fire between her and Stanely. And then there’s that rape [probable] rape scene… I wonder what JB himself would have to say on this subject.
    *(Waits for response.)*

  2. jholmes says:

    I also very much liked J.B.’s assertion that Blanche is a continuation of Alma. Since he brought that up in class, I keep harking back to it when thinking about the plays. I think that Blanche really seems to be a perfect evolution of Alma and I wonder if Williams was cognizant of this relation.

  3. Meg Baker says:

    What I liked about this essay was that, although I didn’t get to see Summer & Smoke (and I haven’t read it), I was able to get enough background of the play. I was also able to understand the characters better because of the way J.B. wrote his essay, as well as his comparison of Blanche and Alma.

  4. jonathonbridgeman says:

    WOW I’m so glad at least a few of you did not struggle to see the connections I was trying to make and am really hoping Richards sees this post before my grade on that paper is set in stone. I think there is certainly a parallel between Roger and Mitch, but even more so I see a parallel between Roger and a character we never see on stage in Streetcar, Allan Gray. There’s a scene in Summer & Smoke when Alma is talking to the Doctor about Roger, and they seem to be beating around the bush as to whether or not something is peculiar about Roger…probably his sexual orientation. That’s where I see the parallel of Roger into the world of Streetcar. Again, I’m really glad you guys understood what I was getting at! It really has made this late night blogging/studying session much easier to navigate.