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    3. 刊物名称:英语广场
    4. 国内刊号:CN 13-1298/G4
    5. 国际刊号:ISSN 1009-6426
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      时间:2017-10-07 来源:英语广场

        【Abstract】Tennessee Williams, an American playwright of the twentieth century, has been widely valued as a representative poetic playwright on singing laments for the declined cavalier South and the frustrated South belle. A Streetcar Named Desire, which is Tennessee Williams' s second major play, is regarded among the finest dramatic masterpiece of the American stage. This paper is an attempt to give a tentative analysis of specific symbols in this play and to discuss how the misery and the inner world of the characters are disclosed through the remarkable use of symbols.
        【Key words】Tennessee Williams; A Streetcar Named Desire; symbolism
        Introduction to Symbolism
        In its broad sense, symbolism refers to the naming of something (known as vehicle) that represents something else (known as tenor) by association, resemblance, or convention especially a material object used to represent something invisible. In literature, “symbolism”may refer to the use of abstract concepts, as a way to obfuscate any literal interpretation, or to allow for the broader applicability of the prose to meanings beyond what may be literally described.
        Here is the definition of the word “symbol”in A Glossary of Literature Terms:
        In discussing literature, however, the term 'symbol' is applied only to a word or phrase that signifies an object or event which in its turn signifies something, or has a range of reference, beyond itself…for example, the general association of a peacock with pride and of an eagle with heroic endeavor, or the rising sun with birth and the setting sun with death, or climbing with effort or progress and descent with surrender or failure... (Abrams 311)
        Many writers—in fact, most or all authors of fiction—make the symbolic use of concepts and objects as rhetorical devices central to the meaning of their works. Tennessee Williams also widely uses symbols in his writings. Symbols are an integral and indispensable part in his theatric art. He says: “Art is made out of symbols the way your body is made out of vital tissue... Play that is more of a dramatic poem than a play is bound to rest on metaphorical ways of expression”(Williams, 1978: 146).
        In addition, he further argues that the chief purpose of symbolism in drama is to“say a thing more directly and simply and beautifully than it could be said in words... Sometimes it would take page after tedious page of exposition to put across an idea that can be said with an object or a gesture on the lighted stage”(Williams, 1978: 66). And it is because of the vivid and carefully chosen symbols that his plays are so impressive to audiences.