preview

A Streetcar Named Desire Analysis Essay

Decent Essays
A Streetcar Named Desire is a play by Tennessee Williams; it takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1947. After losing her family home, Belle Reve (French for “beautiful dream”), in Mississippi, Blanche DuBois, an aging southern belle and former teacher, travels to New Orleans to stay with her pregnant sister, Stella, and brother in law, Stanley Kowalski, at their tiny apartment. The play follows Blanche’s time with the Kowalskis and their friends/neighbors.
Williams' famously poetic stage directions, in which she is likened to a fluttering white moth who must avoid the light, demonstrate that Blanche craves 'magic' because the bright truth about post-war America is too harsh to bear (Onyett). Her name means “white woods” in French. It
…show more content…
At the end of the play, she is taken away to a mental institution.
During the play, the audience learns the story of Blanche's life before the time of the drama. What is vividly unfolded to us is that Blanche had taken the streetcar named Desire, and had transferred to the one called Cemeteries. We learn of Blanche's youthful, loving desire for Allan Grey, her young husband. It was indeed a passionate desire, and Blanche was one who could love much:“When I was sixteen, I made the discovery— love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the world for me”(A Streetcar Named Desire, New American Library, 1963).This was ardent desire, the same loving desire that Stella has for Stanley—not that “brutal desire” of which Blanche speaks. This is the loving, sensual desire which leads not to death but life and wisdom. It is that loving desire, that Eros, which, as Blanche sees, lights up the world (Mood).
Blanche is considered a complicated character. Critics/audiences either portray her as unfortunate and victimized by her surrounding or view her merely as crazy. She chooses to live in a dream world filled with fantasies and lies. The adoption of this new world and her inability to adapt to her physical surroundings is what causes her fateful end. Throughout the play, Blanche attempts to present herself as a proper lady. She is trying to shed her
Get Access