A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Decent Essays

Dramas of the twentieth century defied the norm of dull plays and exchanged them for conflicted characters, racy scenes, and curse words. Eugene O’Neill is seen as the innovator of the exciting and fresh new themes, who began the way deep plays were written in 1924. But, perhaps one of the most controversial plays—and maybe the greatest known of the era—is Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, a tale of one woman’s destruction due to Southern society’s changing moral values. The destruction of the Old Southern society around the main character, Blanche DuBois, causes her to go insane and she cannot stand the low morals that the New South is carrying in its baggage. Because of his Southern roots, Tennessee Williams’ past is able to shine through his work. Born to a drunken shoe maker and a Southern belle, Williams was supported by his grandparents and grew up in a divided family, where his father was often gone. In “An Interview With Tennessee Williams” by Robert Berkvist, a New York Times writer, Mr. Williams said of his mother that “she contributed a lot to [his] writing.” She clearly influenced the construction of Blanche, as she was described as “mystifying” and “terrifying” by her son (Berkvist n. pag.). “Tennessee Williams Biography” by Poetry Foundation states that his father often times called him a “sissy,” negatively influencing Williams. The family moved to St. Louis in 1918, and from that moment forward, Williams will always look back on the South as a

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