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Choose one of the following topics.

1. Provide a brief definition that includes at least three identifying traits of a tragic figure, then apply that definition to argue for or against the following statement:

Stanley Kowalski, and not Blanche Dubois, is the real tragic figure of A Streetcar Named Desire. 

2. Discuss the similarities and differences between any one of the following pairs of characters:

Stella and Rose

Stanley and Troy

Blanche and Gabriel

Cory (Fences) and Sonny ("Sonny's Blues")

Troy and the narrator of "Sonny's Blues"

3. Discuss the following statement:

"The tragedy of Troy Maxson in Fences is one that exemplifies the tragedy of American society."

4. Discuss the following statement:

"The Southern Gothic elements of A Streetcar Named Desire prevent the play from achieving the effects of a classical tragedy. In other words, because of the grotesque qualities that Tennessee Williams has given to Stanley and Blanche, we can never see them as "real people." Rather, they serve as symbols and archtypes, as personalities so extreme that they lose the ability to create 'a catharsis of terror and pity.'"   

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