A Streetcar Named Desire essays

A Streetcar Named Desire is a play by Tennessee Williams about Blanche Dubois, who unexpectedly visits her younger sister, Stella, after losing their family plantation, Belle Reve. As Blanche tells Stella the devastating news, she lies to her about why she left her job as a school teacher. Blanche tells Stella that her nerves were affecting her and the school told her to take a break; the truth is that she actually got fired.

Masculinity of Characters of Stanley and Mitch in “A Streetcar Named Desire”
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In literature, the theme of gender has been used as a way to set empowerment throughout history. In the play, written by Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, presents many gender roles and themes through the characters Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski, Blanche Dubois, and Mitch. Williams effectively expresses the theme of masculinity through his male characters, Stanley and Mitch, conveying the male figure and role in society during 1947 in Downtown New Orleans. In the play, Stanley is conveyed as…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
Comparison of Macbeth, A Streetcar Named Desire, ‘Enter Without So Much As Knocking,’ ‘Katrina,’ The Collector and The Great Gatsby
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Similarities in texts are often present and can be linked in many ways allowing readers to make comparisons. Although each text is unique in its construction there are similarities in theme, character and setting. The six texts represented and compared here are Macbeth, A Streetcar Named Desire, 'Enter Without So Much As Knocking,' 'Katrina,' The Collector and The Great Gatsby. Representations of men and women in each text will be discussed highlighting their similarities and differences as well as the…...
A Streetcar Named DesireComparisonMacbethThe Great Gatsby
The Clashes and Conflicts in A Streetcar Named Desire
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Conflicts are mainly the themes of A Streetcar Named Desire. We can also find out that these conflicts are particularly illustrated in two protagonists, which are Stanley and Blanche. Tennessee Williams builds up the conflicts regarding their characteristics, genders, and even classes that are worthy of being explored and discussed. First of all, there are a number of major differences between Blanche and Stanley in their personalities that generate a large number of conflicts. When the two first emerge on…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
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Women in “The Bell Jar” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”
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The issue of the position of women in society is a central concern both in The Bell Jar (1963) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1974), and both texts challenge the standards that women were expected to abide by during the time period in which the texts were written including women’s lack of power, cultural expectations, purity, and the oppressive sexual double standard that women are commonly faced with. In The Bell Jar, Esther’s role presents a great conflict as she…...
A Streetcar Named DesireThe Bell Jar
Analysis of Extract From A Streetcar Named Desire
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Consider the effectiveness of this extract from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' with particular reference to what it adds to the play as a whole. The extract that I shall be analysing is the start of Scene Nine (200-204), which concentrates on showing Blanche's reactions towards having her illusions shattered, and revealing her past to Mitch. This extract contains drama, tension, and gives the entire play a sense of secrets being revealed, without which, the play would not feel as complete.…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
Williams presents masculinity in A Streetcar Named Desire
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‘We shouldn’t be shocked by Stanley’s attitude to women and his violent behaviour; he is just a product of his time.’ In the light of this statement, explore how Williams presents masculinity in A Streetcar Named Desire. The question of whether the reader of A Streetcar Named Desireshould conceive every aspect of behavior exhibited by the key characters as being symbolic of their time is one that has been dogged by controversy. According to some readers, Stanley’s attitude to women and…...
A Streetcar Named DesireHuman NatureMasculinityViolence
Tennessee Willaims’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”
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This paper discusses the functions of illusion and reality in Tennessee Willaims' "A Streetcar Named Desire".Tennessee Willaims' "A Streetcar Named Desire" I believe that illusion is not necessary to everyone's life but rather it helps them to avoid the harsh realities that they may have to deal with in their lives. I also believe that a major theme of this play was how our lives can often experience a fierce battle between these illusions. In the case of "A Streetcar…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
Reader Response A Streetcar Named Desire
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Throughout the play "A Streetcar Named Desire" written in 1944 by Thomas Lanier Williams, better known as Tennessee Williams; we can meet various social issues such as homosexuality, loneliness, psychiatric illness and the contrast between the New and the Old America. This are all social issues presented during the life of the author. The protagonist of the play have the characteristics of Tennessee Williams' family, Stanley is like his father, the one who decides everything, as a "KING". Meanwhile Blanche…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire
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A discussion of the characters that treat others badly in Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire" One of the main themes expressed by Tennessee Williams in his play, A Streetcar Named Desire, is to condemn those who display cruelty and harshness in their treatment of others, especially those who are weak and vulnerable. Three characters who demonstrate these insensitive qualities are Blanche, Mitch, and Stanley. Whether the cruelty is deliberate or not, it results in the destruction of others,…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
“A Street Car Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams Essay
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An assessment of and reaction to the literary value of the Tennessee Williams' book, "A Street Car Named Desire", including a biography of the author Tennessee Williams's playA Streetcar Named Desire contains more within it's characters, situations, and story than appears on its surface. As in many of Williams's plays, there is much use of symbolism and interesting characters in order to draw in and involve the audience. The plot of A Streetcar Named Desire alone does not captivate the…...
A Streetcar Named DesireStreet Car Named Desire
Stage direction
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Stella loves Stanley, but in a way that she wants, and desires him rather than she feels affection and passionate love for him: Stella (to Blanche): "There are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark - that sort of make everything else seem unimportant. (Pause. ) Blanche: "What you are talking about is brutal desire - just - Desire! Stanley is a perfect example of an alpha male. He is confident in the way he…...
A Streetcar Named DesireBook ReviewBooks And ReadingCleopatraLiterature
Justice in the two plays – A Doll’s House and A Streetcar Named Desire
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Justice can be defined in three ways. First of all, justice is integrity. Someone, who is honest, behaves justly. Secondly, justice can be defined over its antonym, injustice. If someone treats someone else badly, this unfair behaviour can be seen as injustice. Thirdly, justice can be defined over law. Some people might argue that justice acting according to the law. These forms of justice or injustice can be seen in the two plays studied, “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen…...
A Streetcar Named DesireEthicsHouseJustice
Is Stanley Kowalski a Tragic Villain
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Is Stanley Kowalski simply a tragic villain? A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947 is a play that is perceived with the variance between a man and his sister-in-law. Stanley Kowalski immediately captures the attention of the audience through Williams’ excellent portrayal of the intensely strong willed character, furthermore Williams forms Stanley into an exceedingly masculine character who will always have his way or no way and makes his opinions vey clear to those around him “why…...
A Streetcar Named DesireVillains
‘Cat on A Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ are plays in which Tennessee
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William's explores the notion of men and women who are dispirited by their inadequacies and consequently, have a need to camouflage their personal unpleasant realities. Discuss how applicable this assumption is. Williams has expressed that creative work is so closely related to, if not a reflection of, the personality of the person who does it, and describes this as a 'lonely condition'. It is clearly unequivocal that therefore, his work is a representation of himself, which he has created from…...
A Streetcar Named DesireCatHuman NatureTruth
Character’s Tragedy In A Street Car Named Desire
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In A Street Car Named Desire, Williams expertly conveys the theme of isolation using the complex character of Blanche, showing different aspects of isolation including: social isolation, physical isolation, psychological isolation and emotional isolation. Blanche’s isolation in all respects can be seen as a consequence of her own actions as the critic Cardullo argued “Blanche’s struggle in Streetcar is…with herself” e.g.: through her loss of Belle Reve causing her physical isolation, her loss of her status as an accomplished English…...
A Streetcar Named DesireCharacterTragedy
Blanche vs. Stanley
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In the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the setting takes place in the French Quarter of New Orleans shortly after World War Two. Blanche DuBois is a very fragile and an irrational woman on a desperate mission for someplace in the world to call her own and make a new name for herself. On the other hand, Stanley Kowalski is a Polish man who is extremely hard headed and controlling. He represents a theme of realism by…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
The American Dream in Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire
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The American Dream is a central aspect of the plot of the two plays in question. It serves as both the motivation for Stanley's behavior in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Willy Loman's vision that his son Biff refused to uphold in Death of a Salesman. In Miller's play, Willy turned his vision of the American dream into more of a culture. He sincerely believes that the key indicators of success are how much money and brand-name appliances you have,…...
A Streetcar Named DesireAmerican DreamDeath Of A Salesman
Toibin and Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire
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Toibin and Williams are writers of literary texts from two different periods of time, although they're set in similar eras, they were written decades apart; 'A Streetcar Named Desire' played and set in 1947 and 'Brooklyn' set in the early 1950s but published in 2009, respectively. Both writers highlight the concerns, issues and attitudes towards women in society, with significance placed on how they exert power. However, there is no surprise that both female protagonists do this in different ways,…...
A Streetcar Named DesireFuture
How Do the Plays Criticise Established Institutions?
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The ideas of marriage and social class are both key themes in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' by Edward Albee and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' by Tennessee Williams. The plays are used to criticise these institutions with characters such as Stella and Stanley (Streetcar) showing the darker side of marriage with domestic abuse via physical and emotional means as well as Martha and George (Virginia Wolf) showing how Martha feels she has 'married down' in class as George was an…...
A Streetcar Named DesireConformityPlays
Interpersonal Communication in Play A Streetcar Named Desire
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How Williams presents Stella as dependent upon Stanley throughout the play A Streetcar Named Desire A Streetcar Named Desire written in 1947 by Tennessee Williams is a play which explores the themes of reliance', belonging' and evolution'. It tells the story of Blanche DuBois, Stella and Stanley Kowalski, and informs the audience of all the complexities of a life of transition and instability. Stella, though a minor character, plays a pivotal role in the plot and the events that unfold…...
A Streetcar Named DesireInterpersonal Communication
A Streetcar Named Desire/as I Lay Dying
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This proves that the main characters of A Streetcar Named Desire and As I Lay Dying are very similar because they both experience tragedy and are affected by such. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, one of the main characters, Blanch DuBois, is portrayed as the typical rich southern belle who fell down on her luck. The other characters, specifically her brother in-law, dislike her “hoity-toity” mannerisms and the fact that she has an aura of…...
A Streetcar Named DesireAs I Lay Dying
A Streetcar Named Desire-A Tragic Hero
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There are nine types of heroes in this world, each of them with their own unique stories, plots, cliches etc. Among those is the classic tragic hero, one who is destined to fail no matter what. In a Streetcar Named Desire, the tragic hero is Blanche Dubois, an aging Southern Belle living in a state of perpetual panic about her fading beauty. In this essay it will be discussed what makes Blanche a tragic hero and how she compares to…...
A Streetcar Named DesireTragedyTragic Hero
A Streetcar Named Desire Film Analysis
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These actors take on the difficult task of bringing two complex, emotional characters onto the silver screen. With spot-on reactions to each others' theatrical advances, the pair create an experience that is both enjoyable and expressively coherant. Vivian Leigh was cast for the role of Blanch DuBois for various reasons. She was white, slender, beautiful and had already acted in several other films. Tennessee Williams, the author of the original play, saw Leigh's performances in plays such as “The School…...
A Streetcar Named DesireFilm Analysis
Tennessee Williams’ Play A Streetcar Named Desire
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How does Tennessee Williams build up dramatic tension between Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski in Scene 10 to make it a theatrical climax of A Streetcar named Desire By cchungl 17 Tennessee Williams achieves dramatic tension in the play through the interactions between characters, symbolism of characters. effective use of music and sound effects, words and setting. He does not use Acts, but divides the play into eleven scenes, as with all other scenes, Scene 10 naturally leads to a…...
A Streetcar Named DesireTheatre Experience
Comparative Essay: Setting in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Hedda Gabler’
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Setting can often reflect the underlying ideas in a play. In the light of this statement, consider the importance and use of setting in 'Hedda Gabler' and 'A Streetcar named Desire' Setting, with all its different uses, is essential in revealing the imprisonment of protagonists and the values of a society in 'Hedda Gabler' by Henrik Ibsen and 'A Streetcar named Desire' by Tennessee Williams. Both playwrights employ the use of setting in their plays to help reveal underlying ideas,…...
A Streetcar Named DesireHedda Gabler
Comparison of A Doll’s House and A Streetcar Named Desire
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Prompt #14: "Important characters in plays are multi-dimensional. Discuss to what extent this statement is true of important characters in plays you have studied and comment on the techniques of characterization employed by the playwright." Multidimensional characters can also be defined as dynamic or constantly changing and developing characters. These dynamic characters are not simply important to a play, but are arguably the most important characters because what the playwright intends to communicate to his or her audience is communicated…...
A Streetcar Named DesireComparisonHenrik IbsenHouse
Symbolism in a streetcar named desire
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One is the literal understanding, which is obviously what the above fragment suggests itself. Blanche orders Stella to stop cleaning up for Stanley. The reason for this is that she wants Stella to have some right over her husband, instead of him ruling her about; especially as Blanche's expectations of Stanley are extremely low. Stella is the typical, domestic housewife and Blanche is angry because she feels that women should not be so forgiving and tolerant in front of men;…...
A Streetcar Named DesireSymbolism
Streetcar named Desire: dramatic tension
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A Streetcar Named Desire is the story of Blanche Dubois, a fragile, neurotic woman, in desperate search for a place where she can belong. Circumstances lead to her arriving at her sister Stella's home in New Orleans. Unfortunately Blanche does not get on at all well with Stella's husband, Stanley, and the difference between them provides a lot of the dramatic tension overall in the play. Whilst Blanche and Stanley are the two major opposing sides, Stella is stuck in…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
Discuss A Streetcar Named Desire
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Discuss A Streetcar Named Desire as a portrayal of a broken world. Hart Crane's stanza, printed on the title-page of A Streetcar Named Desire, speaks of love's voice as "an instant in the wind". The last line goes on to allude to its transiency. Given that this is placed under the banner of a "broken world", a play that otherwise boasts the subtlety of its imagery seems to get a rather blunt prefix. William's intention was to create for Blanche…...
A Streetcar Named DesirePhilosophy
Use of language – A Streetcar named Desire
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In some areas of 'A Streetcar named Desire' the use of language and the comparison between different characters' use of language is important to the plot and the audience can then distinguish between the character's statuses and roles. The way in which the characters act can sometimes cover up what they are actually feeling but by analysing their words and the way in which the lines are meant to be projected we can clearly see just how they feel at…...
A Streetcar Named DesireLanguage
Introduction to A Streetcar Named Desire
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Explore the methods used by Williams in the first two scenes of the play to introduce his audience to the main themes of the play. Within the fist two scenes of 'A Streetcar named Desire' Tennessee Williams goes into extreme detail on setting, music within background and dialogues by the main characters. The reason for this is because he wishes to introduce the main themes in the play in the beginning. Within the first scene Williams goes into detail with…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
In what ways can ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ be seen as a modern tragedy?
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The ways in which 'A Streetcar Named Desire' by Tennessee Williams can be seen as a modern tragedy, or indeed as any tragedy is a subject of much contention. The answer lies in one's interpretation of the characters in the context of the genre; the tragedy is made or discarded depending on whether the audience's sympathy lies with Blanche or Stanley. In order to explore these interpretations one must define the features of modern tragedy as opposed to the ancient…...
A Streetcar Named DesireTragedy
Fantasy V Reality – Streetcar Named Desire
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Fantasy v reality Remember: AO1 communicate clearly the knowledge, understanding and insight appropriate to literary study, using appropriate terminology and accurate and coherent written expression. DuBois World * “old south” mindset * Aging Southern belle who lives in a state of perpetual panic about her fading beauty * Beginning she was half sane, then contributing people drive her to insanity. * Loss of reality, represents fantasy * “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your…...
A Streetcar Named DesireFantasyFantasy World
Commentary on ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’
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In the novel ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams, a scene that often catches the attention of readers is the poker scene. It begins when Blanche and Stella return from seeing a show too early, not wanting to have been a distraction or a nuisance while the men played poker. Stanley rudely dismisses the ladies making sure they know they aren’t welcome to join in, the tension escalates as does the banter and Stanley whacks Stella’s thigh to end…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
How and Why Is the Grotesque Used in Tennessee Williams’ a Streetcar Named Desire?
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Throughout this semester, we were introduced to varying degrees of literary styles and themes. From the epiphanies discovered through American Realism, to the skepticism explored through Literary Modernism, to the conflicts of social conformity and individualism approached by a Post-Modernistic America and its writers. We have had the great opportunity of being exposed to individuals who questioned and pushed the boundaries of creativity and expression. Tennessee Williams was an author and playwright who balanced the enigmatic, macabre, and often cruel…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
To What Extent Does Williams Portray Stanley as the Cause for Blanche’s Downfall?
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A Street Car Named Desire is a play written by a Mississippi born writer called Tennessee Williams. A Street Car Named Desire shows a reversal of fortune with Blanche having a life full of fortune with a successful business and a happy marriage however it is all turned upside when all this fortune is removed out of her life resulting in her seeking refuge with a lower class family her sister got married into... this fits in with Aristotle’s theory…...
A Streetcar Named DesireCharacterCharacter TraitsPlays
Illusion vs. Reality A Streetcar Named Desire
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Tennessee Williams uses the constant battle between illusion and reality as a theme throughout his play A Streetcar Named Desire. Many use illusion to escape the reality they are living in. This theme is present in all of his characters in different ways. Each character is shown to live their life in either the way of illusion or reality. Harold Mitchell, also known as Mitch buys into Blanches illusions. He is overtaken by her charm, but in the end finally…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
Lies and Truth in A Streetcar Named Desire
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Each person has their own perception of reality, that doesn't always represent what the world really is. Our reality is a blend of attitudes, perceptions and influences from our environment, which is controlled by ourselves. In Tennessee Williams's play, 'A Streetcar Named Desire', all characters create their own reality, through their views on their experiences. It is made very clear that each character has a different reality from one another, emphasizing the fact that everyone constructs their own reality. Stanley…...
A Streetcar Named DesireLiesPsychology
Fantasy vs. Reality in Streetcar Named Desire
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Blanche is sufficiently self-aware to know that she cannot survive in the world as it is. Reality is too harsh, so she must somehow create illusions that will allow her to maintain her delicate, fragile hold on life. “A woman’s charm is fifty percent illusion” (scene 2) she acknowledges to Stanley. Later in the story line when Mitch wants to switch the light on so that he can get a realistic look at her, she tells him that she does…...
A Streetcar Named DesireFantasy
Williams’ Play A Streetcar Named Desire
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Sexual desires are a common interest several people tend to have and Blanche Dubois significantly portray and represents the theme of sexual intimacy in A Street Car Named Desire as Tennessee Williams uses allegory, allusion, symbolism, and foreshadow in order to demonstrate how do Blanche’s “trip” through several street cars correspond to the theme of sexual intensions. Each of the “street-car” or form of transportation Blanche rode in have a distinguishing name for each which provides a metaphorical ideology for…...
A Streetcar Named Desire
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Blanche Meets Stanley

This is common for Blanche to do because she has a tendency to lie in order to hide from reality and maintain a perfect image. Later on, when Blanche meets Stanley, Stella’s husband, she immediately feels uncomfortable with him, especially when he begins to ask her quite personal questions regarding her past even though they just met. This is common for Stanley to do because he likes to keep things as real as possible, has no regard for others and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. This then ultimately results in Stanley becoming a bit suspicious of Blanche and her past and because he represents reality, it is clear that he isn’t going to settle for Blanche’s illusion as well as what she may be hiding. Throughout this conflict between Blanche and Stanley, Williams illustrates that reality will always overpower illusion.

Good-Looking or Not Without Being Told

Williams begins by showing that reality will always overpower illusion when Blanche tries fishing Stanley for a compliment on how she looks. Blanche constantly feels the need to be complimented on her physical appearance by others because of the fact that she is very conscientious when it comes to her age. Anytime she receives a compliment on her looks, it gives her a sense of relief that she is still found attractive by others. Williams shows that reality will always overpower illusion when Stanley says, “Stanley: I don’t go in for that stuff. Blanche: What stuff? Stanley: Compliments to women about their looks. I never met a dame yet that didn’t know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and some of them give themselves credit for more than they’ve got”(38). This quote reveals that Stanley has never been interested in women who feel the need to be complimented on their looks. Given that Stanley represents reality it is evident that when he tells Blanche this he is not planning on feeding into her illusion therefore leading to reality winning.

FAQ about A Streetcar Named Desire

‘Cat on A Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ are plays in which Tennessee
...This is partly due to her own inability of living with her guilt, and partly due to the fact that the society of the day, would not have accepted her as anything other than a fallen woman. There are evidently characters that are dispirited with their...
How Do the Plays Criticise Established Institutions?
...In conclusion, both dramatists have written plays with marriage and social class being key themes through their respective stories. Both themes are heavily criticised throughout the plays which can be a direct effect of who the dramatists were in the...
In what ways can ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ be seen as a modern tragedy?
...Modern tragedy is itself an accusation against a grey, mundane world of ordinary people, for whom the only escape is through self-delusion, alcohol, sex or madness. In this respect 'A Streetcar Named Desire' becomes the ultimate example of modern tra...
How and Why Is the Grotesque Used in Tennessee Williams’ a Streetcar Named Desire?
...According to Mary Ann Corrigan, this descent is part of the overall trajectory of the play: “in each of the [play’s] 11 scenes Blanche moves inexorably closer to the disintegration of her mind and the total rejection of reality” (Humanit 334). ...
To What Extent Does Williams Portray Stanley as the Cause for Blanche’s Downfall?
...Blanche could have avoided a downfall if she stayed head strong and been able to control her sexual desires for younger men. She used her beauty to get what she wanted but this beauty began to fade leaving her with a broken weapon set. Williams showe...

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