The significance of communication 2
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  • 1. Suguru Taga<br />English 12, P5<br />Mr. Augustine<br />April 22, 2011<br />The Significance of Communication<br />In a relationship, whether it is male or female, communication plays a significant role for creating a strong bond. However, there are difficulties of talking about everything to another person because everyone has secrets which sometimes affect the relationships. Throughout both plays, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tenessee Williams, the influence of antagonists on protagonists and the how two couples communicate reveal the theme of the importance of communication in relationships.<br />In both A Doll’s House and A Streetcar Named Desire, antagonists play an important role in influencing the protagonists to talk with their partners. When Blanche is trying to explain Belle Reve to Stella, she struggles, but Stella asks “What, Blanche?” and then Blanche is able to talk about their land (Williams 25). This conversation creates a stronger relationship between Blanche and Stella by sharing and understanding each other’s situations. Also, “Do tell me” by Dr. Rank or “You must tell him” by Mrs. Linde encourages Nora to talk about the secret that she is hiding from Torvald (Ibsen 40, 56). Moreover, Nora knows about Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde more than Torvald does because they both have conversations with her. Williams and Ibsen use these actions to show how important communication is in relationships.<br /> However, even though these antagonists are able to influence Nora and Blanche to talk about the truth, there are differences in the effectiveness. When Blanche is alone on stage and wants to tell someone about her situation, “[She] won’t tell [others]” about the truth (Williams 56). Also, towards the end of both plays, the truth is revealed by antagonists, not by the protagonists. Nora faces and tells the truth to Torvald but Blanche would not reveal her truth in the play; this shows how understanding one another are difficult in relationships.<br />The two couples, Nora and Toravald and Stella and Stanley, have similarities with regards to how both the males act. While Blanche is in the bathtub, Stella and Stanley are looking at Blanche’s suitcase to find the papers (money) that Blanche got when she sold the land in Belle Reve. Even though Stella is against what Stanley is doing, “[Stanley] will have [appraiser] on here to make an appraisal of [Blanche’s belongings]” (Williams 36). This shows the selfishness of Stanley. Williams is also trying to show how weak women are and that women cannot do anything about it. Similarly, when Torvald gets the letter from Krogstad which contains the bond and “[Nora] should not have it; I will read it myself” (Ibsen 63). This speech by Torvald similarly shows his selfishness. By using the selfishness of Stanley and Torvald, Williams and Ibsen pair the selfishness of men in the world and the powerless of women in the society which result in the difficulty of conversation for both men and women.<br />Even though Stanley and Torvald’s powerfulness make Stella and Nora’s actions less effective to men, Nora fights to have equality in her relationship with Torvald while Stella does not. Throughout the play A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella does not try to go against Stanley so that she can be his “little girl” and to maintain their relationship. However, towards the end of A Doll’s House, Nora tries to gain the “equality” between her and Torvald which is different from the relationship between Stella and Stanley (Williams 17, Ibsen 67). Also, because the conversation at the end of the play with Nora and Torvald “…is the first time we two,…husband and wife, have had a serious conversation”, ”[Torvald] don’t understand [Nora] and [Nora has] never understood [Torvald] either” (Ibsen 66, 65). Ibsen created this last scene to emphasize the significance of “sitting down in earnest together to try and get at the bottom of” understanding each other in a relationship under any circumstances (Ibsen 66).<br />Through the use of external support and the actions of male and female characters in A Streetcar Named Desire and A Doll’s House, Tenesse Williams and Henrik Ibsen are successful in introducing the significance of communication in relationships. This is true in present society because if both partners cannot understand each other, then it could result in divorce. Therefore, having equality between males and females, understanding each other through communication is important in creating a stronger bond. <br />