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Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire

It’s just a little after sun set as Blanche Dubois sets foot off a train in New Orleans. She is visiting her sister, Stella, & brother-in law, Stanley. Well she is actually moving in, because she has lost their family’s homestead, Belle Reve, and as well as her job, as a high school English teacher. Her husband shoots himself after she told him that he disgusted her, because he was homosexual. Blanche is so afraid of her past that she does her best to lead the life of an elegant lady and does her best to keep up appearances. She is an alcoholic, but tries to hide it from everyone. Blanche takes a liking to Stanley’s friend, Mitch. He evenly finds about her past and wants nothing more to do with her. Then Blanche wants Stella to leave Stanley and go with her to leave with a rich “man” named, Step Huntleigh, who turns out to someone she made up. Stanley rapes Blanche during the time Stella was at the hospital having their baby. She tells Stella about the rape, but she does not believe her. Blanche becomes deeply disturbed, so they decide to put her in an insane asylum (Williams).

Blanche Dubois is a mid-age high school English teacher. She is very naÐ"Їve and thinks highly of herself. She has became very promiscuous since her husbands death, which she caused by telling him that he disgusted her because he is homosexual. She puts on the airs of a woman who has never known indignity, even though she has had many lovers and strong sexual urges. She was forced to leave Laurel, Mississippi because of her affair with a young student. Soon after Blanche arrives in New Orleans at the Kowalski apartment and eventually reveals that she is completely destitute. She avoids reality, preferring to live in her own imagination. As the play progresses, Blanche’s instability grows along with her misfortune. Stanley sees through Blanche and finds out the details of her past, destroying her relationship with his friend Mitch. Stanley also destroys what’s left of Blanche by raping her and then having her committed to an insane asylum (Williams).

Stella Kowalski is Blanche’s younger sister, about twenty-five years old. Stella left Laurel, Mississippi in her late teens and moved to New Orleans. She then met and married Stanley Kowalski, who is lower-class, but she loves and cares for him dearly. When Blanche arrives she becomes torn between her sister and her husband, eventually she does take her husbands side. This could be because she has Stanley’s baby in the end of the play. While she loves and pities Blanche, she cannot bring herself to believe Blanche’s accusations that Stanley dislikes Blanche, and she eventually dismisses Blanche’s claim that Stanley raped her. Stella’s denial of reality at the play’s end shows that she has more in common with her sister than she thinks (Williams).

Stanley Kowalski is the husband of Stella. He is very faithful to his friends, adoring to his wife, and cruel to Blanche. He is of a Polish decent. He sees himself as a social leveler, and wishes to take Blanche from her high horse. Stanley, is about thirty years old, fought in World War II, and now works as an auto-parts salesman. He has no patience for Blanche’s distortions of the truth. By the play’s end, he is a disturbing degenerate: he beats his wife and rapes his sister-in-law. Shockingly, he shows no remorse. Yet, Blanche is an outcast from society, while Stanley is the proud family man (Williams).

Mitch, Steve, and Pablo are Stanley’s poker friends. Mitch is Stanley’s best friend and tried to win over Blanche until Stanley tells him of her past. Allen Gary is Blanche’s deceased husband. He had a homosexual affair and this deeply disgusted her. Hours after she caught him in bed with another man, he shoots and killed himself. Eunice lives upstairs above Stella and Stanley. Shep Huntleigh is the imaginary rich man Blanche wants her and Stella to run off with (Williams).

On theme Williams uses in A Streetcar Named Desire is the reluctance or inability of people to accept truth (Cummings). Blanche lives in a world of furs, diamonds, and riches, a shelter from reality, to protect herself against her weaknesses. To preserve her good name, she lies about her promiscuous behavior in Laurel. She hates to be a bight light, because she does not want to reveal her physical imperfections. Blanche also refuses to acknowledge her alcohol problem. Stanley breaks this wall she has up with his crude insults and physically when he rapes her. Stanley has his own problem: he lacks the insight to see what he really is- a coarse, domineering macho man ruled by primal instincts. Stanley is happy ignorance, unlike Blanche (Mood). Stella accepts the truth party. She knows her husband is crude and her apartment is ran down, but in the end, she refuses to accept the truth about her sister’s past and about Stanley raping Blanche. “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley,” Stella says (Williams).

Throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche bathes herself. Her sexual experiences have made her a panic-stricken woman, but these baths, as she says, calm her nerves. In light of her efforts to forget these baths represent her efforts to cleanse herself of her repulsive history. Just as she cannot erase the past, her bathing is never done. Stanley also turns to water to “cleanse” himself when he showers after



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