A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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A Streetcar Named Desire The author of "˜A Streetcar Named Desire' is Tennessee Williams. New Directions Publishing Corporation published it. The play was first performed onstage in 1947.

The play is about the tragedy of an attractive woman called Blanche DuBois. She goes to live with her sister, Stella Dubois and her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Blanche finds it difficult living with Stanley because Stanley's language is very vulgar. She meets Stanley's friend, Mitch in a poker game. They begin to fall in love with each another, but Stanley learns a very terrible secret. It turns out that Blanche has a complicated past.

Blanche got married at a very young age to a man named Allan. But it turns out that Allan was homosexual. She pretended that nothing has happened, that she still loves him. But one night, on a dance floor, she told Allan that she was disgusted with him.

He committed suicide. At the same time, the bank repossessed Belle Reve when Blanche mortgaged it for the funerals of family members. She was kicked out of her house. With nowhere to live, she lived into the Flamingo. Thinking that she caused Allan's death because she was not able to satisfy Allan's sexual desires, she tries to comfort herself by making an effort to satisfy strangers, thinking that they need her and that she can't fail them like she failed Allan. The manager of Flamingo soon found out how promiscuous Blanche was and kicked her out of the hotel. She also lost her job as an English teacher in school because the principal knew of her relationship with a 17-year-old boy who reminded her of Allan. With no where to go, no one to turn to anymore in Laurel, she turned to her younger sister, Stella for help.

Stanley tells this awful secret to Mitch. As a result, Mitch was disgusted with Blanche and refused to marry her. At the same time, Stanley gives a ticket to Blanche, telling her to leave the house. While Stella is in labour, Stanley rapes Blanche. All these actions drove Blanche to insanity. In the end, with the help of Stanley, Stella sends Blanche to a mental institution.

The language used in the play is both vulgar and polite. Since Blanche is an English teacher and was raised up in an aristocrat family, her speech is very polite. Stanley and his friend's speech are very vulgar since they are only workers and have not been educated.

This is a tragedy because in the end, everybody was not happy in the end.

Blanche was driven over the edge and went crazy. She lost her mental stability because of the way Stanley, her brother-in-law, was making her feel. Stanley uncovered her lies, making her face reality; he ruined her relationship with Mitch, a man Blanche was ready to settle down for life and because he raped her. She was send to the mental asylum by her own sister Stella.

Stella and Stanley's relationship was ruined. This could seen in the last scene when Stanley sooths Stella. Stanley finds the opening to Stella's blouse, indicating that he wants to make love to her, but Stella does not care for it already, because she no longer feel Stanley's love, she could only feel the pain for the loss of Blanche.

Mitch is unhappy because he loved Blanche dearly, but he could not marry her because Blanche was dirty. She had many one-night-stands with strangers.

This is a very interesting play that has all the elements to make it a successful play.

It has conflicts. Blanche past conflicts with the life that she dream of. She wants to live blissfully with Mitch, but her past does not allows her. The difference between Blanche and Stanley is also a conflict. Stanley cannot stand Blanche because Blanche is constantly comparing him to the man in the upper class to Stella. Stanley is afraid that Stella will leave him, so he hates Blanche. Blanche cannot stand Stanley's offensiveness. She is used to being treated with politeness by gentleman. For example, on poker night, Blanche passed by the man and she says "˜Please don't get up.' This is because man would stand up when a lady walks by in Belle Reves. It is common courtesy. Surprisingly, Stanley replies "˜ Nobody's going to get up, so don't be worried.' Blanche has a hard time adjusting to such rudeness.

It has love. The love between Blanche and Mitch is a love tragedy that would move anyone's heart. There is also the love between Stella and Stanley. People would like to guess the result of their marriage. They would wonder whether the marriage between a worker and a lady from an aristocrat family would work. They would wonder whether Stella would get fed up with Stanley's brutal ways.

These love relations make the play more interesting.



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