Conference papers are where you come up with an idea, propose it, get it accepted, then write a 10 page paper and read it out loud at an academic conference. Sordid as the locomotive semester can be, I indeed came up with an idea:
"Constituting/Caricaturing American Identity in Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire"
*Hyperbole may be the most finely-tuned form of American rhetoric; this transfers into literature and to self-identification. The rhetoric and characters created by Hawthorne and Twain develop this sort of excessiveness over "realism."
*The "superhero" is an American icon based on excessive personality traits bordering on the monstrous and constituting a projected alter identity/stand-in for others.
*Contrasting characters Blanche DuBois (played by Vivien Leigh) and Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando) represent larger-than-life figurations of American conceptions of female and male identity.
*The film's latent conflict is between imaginative/excessive identities meeting physical realities: rape, mental illness, the urban landscape, class (and others).
Don't steal my idea!