A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams Essay example

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A Streetcar Named Desire

From the beginning, the three main characters of Streetcar are in a state of tension.
Williams establishes that the apartment is small and confining, the weather is hot and oppressive, and the characters have good reason to come into conflict.
The South, old and new, is an important theme of the play. Blanche and her sister come from a dying world. The life and pretensions of their world are becoming a thing of memory: to drive home the point, the family mansion is called "Belle Reve," or Beautiful Dream. The old life may have been something beautiful, but it is gone forever. Yet Blanche clings to pretensions of aristocracy. She is now as poor as Stanley and Stella, but she cannot help but
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Stanley is convinced that he is being swindled, but after a moment it becomes clear that
Blanche is capable of no such thing. She cares nothing for money; her class only understands how to spend it, and that is part of why Belle Reve was lost. When Stanley demands if it was lost on a mortgage, Blanche can only respond uncertainly, "That must have been what happened." She is completely ignorant on business matters. Stanley is no expert, but his basic approach is that of a new world, the real world in which Blanch is so unable to survive.
Blanch has suffered terribly; we have only seen hints of it so far, but later we will learn more about the depths of her loneliness. Loneliness and desire are integral to Blanche's being. She chose the harsh road of staying at Belle Reve to care for the dying, and she has suffered because of it. For many years, she was a delicate young woman who lived alone in a house full of the terminally ill.
There is both honesty and illusion in her comments about the sincerity of the suffering. On one hand, Blanche is very insincere. She has dealt with her suffering by making-believe, by taking refuge in fanciful dreams about herself and her surroundings. She lies about her age.
She also insists that Mitch cover the naked bulb. She does not want to be seen in the harshness of bright light. In darkness, she is free to fabricate and re-imagine whatever cannot be seen.
On the other hand, there is something very
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