“Chemical Cast”: A Streetcar Named Desire Review

“Chemical Cast”: A Streetcar Named Desire Review

Since this semester is busy, I decided to review some of my required works from class, so I can post more than every few weeks. Ideally, I’d like to be getting a review a week up; but who knows? University is a fun ride.

For one of my English classes, we just read A Streetcar Named Desire, and since it’s a format that’s easy to get through, I finished it in one day. I have the edition with the forward by Arthur Miller—his insights made more and more sense as I traveled further into the story. One point he makes is that this play is more “from the soul” than many works from that time. Definitely.

One thing Tennessee Williams does really well is starting the conflict from the first scene. In a lot of plays I’ve read, the action takes a few scenes to pick up; but these characters seem chemically engineered to react to one another, and Williams wastes no time in setting that up.

Throughout the plot, the setting and mood contribute to the artistic impression the reader is left with on the last page. Yes, they help the rising action; but they do more. Things like the music, inside and outside; the details about the apartment and clothes; even minor characters who play poker or sell things—everything combines to convey a tangible vibe. I felt truly immersed in this little world because of these masterful details.

The plot twists are significant: I admire the subtlety Williams uses in slipping them in—it’s a technique that, after delivering one twist, makes it clear in hindsight that it’d been coming for a while.

I think the main strength was the fallible nature and complexity of the characters. Our class has had lengthy discussion on their interactions, attitudes toward each other, and the vices or personality flaws that render them so interesting. In fact, my classmates disagree on who’s really the antagonist.

It’s a relatively quick read, though you may want to have an upbeat playlist on hold for when you finish it. 😉

Has anyone else read Streetcar Named Desire? Or, what’s on your reading list for this semester?

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“Kid Menu Maze”: The Maze Runner Review

“Kid Menu Maze”: The Maze Runner Review

Reading YA as a grown up is fun because, despite the simpler style, certain coming-of-age adventures provide a nostalgic value. The Maze Runner took me back to those middle school books that cemented my love of literature. The world was built well. Things were revealed in a timely fashion. I felt emotionally connected to the protagonist. The novel’s strengths—character development, pacing—caused the weak elements to fade into the background. Overall, I enjoyed it more the closer I got to the epic conclusion. And it is epic.

I’d say The Maze Runner is appropriate for anyone 6th grade and up. It does depend on your tolerance for violence: there are serious threats, and pretty much everyone suffers injuries at some point in time. While this rules out younger readers, it also heightens the stakes, which, in my opinion, is vital enough to be worth it.

My main issue with Dashner’s style is his choice to tell us a lot of things instead of showing us and letting us figure things out. For instance, in Chapter 3, we learn about a new threat. We’re told that the other character’s “words had a heavy weight of dread to them.” I’d have liked to see Thomas’ stomach turn, or a shiver, or even the messenger lowering his voice. There were a lot of instances in which we were advised to feel a certain way, when I believe readers could have gotten there on their own.

In terms of things it does well, the characters, while initially a tad awkward in group scenes, become progressively more fleshed out. I was quite impressed with the discussions in the second half. Dashner’s range of personality types is something I grew to respect.

In that same vein, the action scenes increasingly enthralled me. For the last fifty pages, I was emotionally locked in. And the ending…well, there’s just plot twist upon plot twist. I thought I knew what was happening up to the last page, and then I found out I was wrong. So, excellent development—and I really liked the spacing of everything.

I’m giving The Maze Runner a 3.5 out of 5 stars. While the world building was right on par with other popular YA series, certain explanations and interactions didn’t dazzle me. The writing was klunky in a few places. However, it’s tangible that Dashner put a lot of love and care into the adventure, and that led me to care about it, as well.

Have you read this book or seen the movie? Is it on your TBR shelf? Let me know your thoughts below! 🙂

About Hannah

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I’m a university student and aspiring novelist. Since the age of five, I’ve been crafting stories and devouring others’. My favorite things include science fiction movies, the color purple, coconut donuts, kittens, and journaling. My goal is to serve my Lord Jesus by supporting others in the writing world with my talents, while learning more about the industry. One day, I hope to hold my first published (possibly sci-fi) book in my hands.

Here, you’ll find my feedback on books, both print and audio, along with occasional posts about writing. Additionally, I’m featuring my Portal 2 fanfiction, Birthday Candles, here. Let me know what you think of these, as well as any other material you’d like to see.

Please feel free to leave feedback– I’d love to network with you. God bless, and I pray you enjoy your day.