Compare and Contrast Essay on Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Published: 2021-06-30
1396 words
6 pages
12 min to read
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
Argumentative essay
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The Crucible is a play which revolves around the characters Abigail Williams, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and the residents of Salem. Abigail is a young lady who happens to be the villain in the entire play; she is derived from jealousy, lust and desire for power which ends up resulting in the loss of 19 innocent lives in Salem and also her nature to lie and her hate for Elizabeth Proctor, the wife to John Proctor. Abigail tries to frame proctor's wife for being a witch and back at Salem such crimes were punished by hanging. In the other play, we find two sisters Stella Kowalski and Blanche Dubois. Stella is married to Stanley Kowalski a rude person in nature and seems to dislike Stella's sister the minute they meet. Blanche seems to have a past covered of lies which she keeps hidden from her sister, but Stanley has the feeling it's a huge cover up. Different relationships lead to different situations and circumstances and as seen in these plays the different relationships result in different outcomes.

From both plays, there are several contrasts and similarities between the two plays and in this paper, we get to cover a number of them, focus on different characters and get to learn more about both plays. From the play, The Crucible Abigail has a huge lie that she makes up of witches in Salem so as to get back to Proctors wife, while on the other hand, from the play A Streetcar desire we find Blench who also has a huge lie about her past life. Both characters come up with different cover stories so as to achieve different goals within the play. Abigail has this huge conspiracy together with her friends so as to get Elizabeth Proctor hanged for being a witch. While for Blench she has become bankrupt after having misused the family wealth and lost her job because of an affair with one of her students, she comes up with the lie so as to get a place to stay at her sister's place since she cannot afford her own place hence having to stay with the sister. Both play happen to have a similarity here but and different relationships are experienced in the plays.

They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off atElysian Fields! (A Streetcar Desire)

A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg yousee her what she is. . . . She thinks to dance with me on my wifes grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whores vengeance. . . .

Both, The Crucible and A Streetcar Desire happen to have a common thing which is lies but the difference comes in where the relation to the nature of the lies and the circumstances that lead to the lies differ. Both lies have been motivated by different circumstances hence bringing the difference between the two poems. In The Crucible Abigail lies are motivated by different motives as compared to the motives that have led to Blench lies in the play The Streetcar Desire. Also, another difference is the outcome of the lies. In the play, The, Crucible Abigail manages to get away with her lies and leaves a trail of dead innocent people but fails to get Elizabeth killed. This shows the intensity of the lies made up by Abigail while on the other hand, A Streetcar Desire Blench does not manage to get away with her lies, and Stanley finds out all these lies and uncovers them to his wife and friend. As l these backfired on Blench face she loses her mind and ends up in a taken to the hospital for since they declare her mentally unstable.

Love has been witnessed in both plays hence bring us back to relationships. Both plays have been revolving around the concept of love and what it takes to have love. From the play, The, Crucible Abigail is in love with Proctor from when she was working for him and his wife and Proctor finds himself in a situation which makes him betray his wife but manages to get over the situation. This happens when his wife realizes and kicks out Abigail in the middle of the night and she is stranded with nowhere to go but fortunately, she, has her problem sorted. This does not stop her from loving Proctor and she goes through all the trouble so as to set up Elizabeth of being a witch with the intentions of getting her killed so as to be left with Proctor. A love problem is also realized in the other play A Streetcar Desire, Blench gets to know Mitch and their relationship develops into love before Stanley comes in between them. During then Blench keeps her previous life a secret so as to be able to maintain their relationship. Both stories cover the theme of love in different relationships. Love makes these characters act different, for example, the loss of the young husband of Blench results to her mental breakdown. She engages in all these things that Stanley reveals as prove of what love can result to. On the other hand, we find Abigail and her diabolic thoughts and lie because of the love she has for Proctor, this love results to the death of 19 innocent people including the life of Proctor.

I want to open myself! . . I want the light of God; I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! (The Crucible)

There are thousands of papers, stretching back over hundreds of years, affecting Belle Reve as, piece by piece, our improvident grandfathers and father and uncles and brothers exchanged the land for their epic fornicationsto put it plainly! . . The four-letter worddeprived us of our plantation, till finally all that was leftand Stella can verify that!was the house itself and about twenty acres of ground, including a graveyard, to which now all but Stella and I have retreated. (A Streetcar Desire)

The sanity of both characters Abigail from The Crucible and Blench from A Streetcar Desire is highly questionable. Is it possible for the relationship life of a person result to the entire sadistic act portrayed by both characters? The issue of sanity has been pointed out in different angles in the plays and can be clearly realized by the reader and also the viewers of the play. Blench pictures her being taken by her millionaire. This is an illusion that covers her mind as the matters spill out of hand. While on the other hand Abigail claims to see spirit of Elizabeth who comes and tries to kill her. For someone to see or experience all these, this results to the question of sanity. How sane is te person or in our case the character? All these sanity matters of both the characters have been fuels by relationship which either have ended or failed.

Both poems share similarities and at the same time have their differences as seen above. Relationships revolve around love and so many things happen in different relationships which in return depend how the involved parties react to te situation, for example Abigails response to the ending of their affair with Proctor did not end well and within the play we have seen the consequences of her reaction to the situation. On the other hand Blench goes down dark path after the loss of his husband which led to her losing her job ending up at her sisters place and finally ends up in a mental hospital. Both plays have focused on love life and relationships in different perspectives but managed to paint a clear picture of what both are.

Work Cited

Miller, Arthur. Arthur Miller's Collected Plays: The misfits. After the fall. Incident at Vichy. The price. The creation of the world and other business. Playing for time. Vol. 2. New York: Viking Press, 1981.

Williams, Tennessee. A streetcar named desire. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.



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