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SWBAT interpret the differences between multiple interpretations of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE through writing and collaborative discussion.

Big Idea

"I don't tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth" (Blanche, Scene IX, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE).

Lesson Overview and Note to Teachers

My classes are held in 100-minute block sessions every other day.  Activities in this lesson take one class period to complete.  The lesson below outlines Day Five on A Streetcar Named Desire. 

Students view the remainder of the film (Warner Bros., 2006), Scenes IV through XI, noting differences between the text and the clip. We discuss the significance and impact of the ending in the film clip.

"Blue Jasmine" (Sony Pictures, 2013), a film written and directed by Woody Allen, has similar plot and characters to Streetcar and takes place in a modern setting.  The film stars Cate Blanchett as the main character Jasmine, who is similar to Blanche in Streetcar.  After previewing the film, teachers could have students view the film, and compare and contrast "Blue Jasmine" to Streetcar

Text v. Clip

87 minutes

I explain to students that today we will view the remainder of the film.  I delay viewing the remainder of the film because I do not want students' interpretations of the original text clouded by differences in film clips and I want students to understand the difference between the resolution of the original text and the film. I explain the film clip's ending is different due to censorship at the time.

This is an activity we have engaged in throughout the year.  I ask students to list differences they distinguish between the text and the clip.  Due to time constraints as this is our last class, I play the remainder of the film clip.


13 minutes

I give students time to share findings with a partner (Student Work: Text v. Clip). Then we debrief as a class (Overview: Student Work). 

Students note the differences between resolution in the original text and the clip.  In the text, Stella stays married to Stanley, but in the clip, she takes her new baby and leaves him. Students think the latter is more believable, even though it's different due to censorship in the early 1950s.  They like that the clip version empowers Stella with options as opposed to Blanche.