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The symbolism of the poker night in a streetcar named desire

Posted on March 9, 2011 by angelthetwit Note to Reader: This is written on the assumption of two things which are that you have read A street car named desire or you are familiar with the story.

What is the significance of the two poker games in A Streetcar Named Desire?

The storyline pits each character against the other in a game of strategy and pure luck. Our dealer has dealt the cards to the players, now it is time to see how they will play the hand.

The symbolism comparison of a poker game to the play can be quite evident. Much like everyday life, poker is probably the most unique of all card games. The true skill in poker lies in human interaction. You do not necessarily need to know how to play the game well in order to win. The most successful players are the ones who know how to read the human eyes.

To assist those of you who have no concept of how a poker game is structured I will give you a brief summary of the game so you can better understand. First in order to play, a player will have to buy into the game and make an initial bet to be able to be dealt a hand of cards.

After the initial buy in the dealer then deals out the cards to the players one by one alternating between each player. To win at the game each player may exchange cards that were dealt in hope of receiving better cards to make a better hand.

The dealer will then go from player to player and ask how many cards they wish to exchange. The player can throw down the cards they do not want or keep the cards they were dealt and continue to play. When all cards are finalized, this is when the dealer will once again go around to the players and ask who wants to bet.

  • First in order to play, a player will have to buy into the game and make an initial bet to be able to be dealt a hand of cards;
  • But at this point he confronts her with all of the realities she has been hiding, stripping her of her illusions.

It is at this point in the game that bluffing comes into play. The player at this point has the choice to stay place no bet or if the previous player raised the stakesthen to stay in the game every player must meet that bet or fold their cards drop out of the game. After the dealer has gone around the table collecting the last bets, it is time for all players to flip over and expose their cards to all players at the table.

The player with the highest hand is then the winner and collects the jackpot. We can examine the simple mechanics of a poker game and compare it to the storyline of a Street car named Desire.

Poker and Bathing Symbolism

Stella like a card dealer at a casino, makes every attempt to stay neutral to all the players involved, but in this game unlike normal poker games Stella is the jackpot which Stanley and Blanche are playing for. Our players Stanley and Blanche sit down ready to battle it out for the jackpot which is Stella. We have two very different players here. Stanley, which is the loud flamboyant player who is here to win. His aggressive playing habits are what he plans to use to win the jackpot he is after and Stanley does not plan to sit out any hand or fold any game.

He is in this to win or lose. The competition between these two players can be evident with one of the other characters in the play Mitch. In scene three the poker game Mitch is playing cards with the boys, until Blanche catches his attention and she draws him away from Stanley. I am talking to Miss- Blanche: Dubois As further reference to their competition towards each other shortly thereafter towards the end of scene three Blanche turns on a radio and begins to dance for Mitch Stage Directions: She turns the knobs on the radio and it begins to play.

Blanche waltzes to the music with romantic gestures.

  • Put it over the light bulb!
  • In the same scene is begins her bluff with Mitch;
  • Many professional poker players do this, so as to hide their eyes from the other players to make their bluffs all the more intense and dramatic;
  • I bet you would do that!

Mitch is delighted and moves in awkward imitation like a dancing bear. Stanley stalks fiercely through the portieres into the bedroom. He crosses to the small white radio and snatches it off the table. With a shouted oath, he tosses the instrument out the window. This is just one of many examples which could be pulled from the play to illustrate their disdain with each and their fierce competition.

Blanche the pretentious high roller, much like Stanley is all in to win. Many professional poker players do this, so as to hide their eyes from the other players to make their bluffs all the more intense and dramatic. Blanche has her sunglasses on and is ready to play. But do the players wear the sunglasses because they cannot bluff at all? Is this why Blanche needs her sunglasses?

Although Blanche tries her best to bluff her way through the game, her true appearance and self becomes exposed to the players. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earring of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. She is about five years older than Stella. Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light.

There is something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggests a moth. Her opponent Stanley is sizing up Blanche and judging what kind of player his nemesis is. Open your eyes to this stuff! You think she got them out of a teachers pay?

Poker & Pop Culture: Men vs. Women in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

A dialogue which is symbolic of Blanche putting on her sunglasses. I brought this adorable little colored paper lantern at a chinese shop on Bourbon. Put it over the light bulb! In the same scene is begins her bluff with Mitch: It is quite evident Blanche is a somewhat of a skilled bluffer.

Now our players have sized each other up and are now ready to begin the game. Stella shuffles the cards and deals one card at a time to each player. When all the cards are dealt out, the players examine their hands and see which cards they plan to keep and which ones they intend to exchange in hope of receiving a better hand to win.

The cards dealt to our players are love, deceit, hatred, desire and betrayal. The deceit card for Blanche stems from the very beginning of the play when she is first introduced. She wants everyone to believe she is someone she is not, and this goes for herself as well. For Stanley the deceit card is a very important card to because it is a card that will help him in his attempt to win his jackpot.

What do you want? Mitch [fumbling to embrace her ]: What I been missing all summer. Then marry me, Mitch! Mitch [dropping his hands from her waist]: Clearly Stanley has played his deceit card well. Next, we move on to the hatred card. While Blanche does try to come off as a soft, gentle, helpless victim, she is also hateful of many things. One obvious would definitely be Stanley. But, Blanche is equally hateful of herself too. Evidence of this can be seen in scene six as she is talking to Mitch about her dead husband, who committed suicide.

Then I heard the voices say- Allan! You disgust me …. While she makes every attempt not to expose her true self to everyone she meets, she is also expresses the hate she has of herself. This hatred card for Blanche is the beginning of her downfall. She tries desperately to use this card against Stanley. For example after the the symbolism of the poker night in a streetcar named desire in which Stanley assaults his pregnant wife Stella, she tries to play her hatred card of Stanley to convince Stella to leave Stanley.

Unfortunately this card does not work for Blanche because of the next card dealt to the players, desire. The desire card is held by all our players and dealer.

They all have their desires and wants and will protect them at all costs. One example of this is in scene three, Stanley and the boys are playing poker and his friend Steve is telling a joke to the guys at the table, then you have this response from Stanley: Stanley [impatient with the story]: Eunice scolds Stanley for smacking Stella: Stanley [ humbly ]: EuniceI want my girl to come down with me!

Her eyes are glistening with tears and her hair loose about her throat and shoulders. They stare at each other. Then they come together with lowanimal moans…. Her hatred of herself is so great that it forces her to desire to be anyone else besides Blanche. In scene nine Blanche is speaking to Mitch after he stands her up for her birthday celebration Mitch tears off the paper lantern from the light bulb Mitch [tears the paper lantern off the light bulb.

She utters a frightened gasp. What did you do that for? So I can take a look at you good and plain! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. All the players hold this card and this is the card that is key in winning this game.