A Feminist Study of Otherness in A Streetcar Named Desire and its Iranian Film Adaptation, The Stranger

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Zahra Nazemi
Hossein Aliakbari Harehdasht
Abdolmohammad Movahhed

Abstract

Movie adaptations of dramatic works have always been very popular. Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) has been adapted several times and in different ways. Feminist and gender studies have examined the important role of Otherness in the construction of female identity. Using their findings, we compare the ways in which the theme of Otherness has been employed in representing female gender identity in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire and in its Iranian film adaptation, The Stranger (Bigāneh) (2014). The results of the study show that while in both works the female characters' traditional female roles have been highlighted, in the Iranian movie the main female character economically enjoys a relatively higher independence and can have a voice of her own to act against the patriarchal traditions. Besides, whereas in the source text women’s identity is solely associated with their being the Other of men, women in The Stranger stand on a par with their male companions, if not higher than them. The study also reveals that a main reason for these differences originates in the sociopolitical, cultural and historical discrepancies between the contexts in which the film and the play were created.

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