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Tennessee Williams 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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A literary critique to Tennessee Williams “A Streetcar Named Desire” was written in 2012 by Daniel Thomières called “Tennessee Williams and the Two Streetcars.” Thomières argues that two themes are evident in Williams’ play and they are sex (desire) and death. He believed Blanche became the “personification of excess” (2) as the play went on. Stella was the opposite of that, Thomières believed that she chose safety and a future instead of playing in to her desires. She is believed to have thought, “Stanley and the apartment mean survival” (5). He wrote in his article about each of the characters and how they embodied different aspects of desire. He also explained why Stanley and Blanche were instantly attracted to each other. As they were…show more content…
Throughout Williams play, he alluded that Blanche wanted Mitch because he meant security and the ability to restart her life after losing everything including her image of innocence in Laurel. Instead, Thomières claims that “she wants pure desire, that is something unconditional, that will never end and will never be satisfied” (379). This perception is interesting because Blanche has had mental issues due to her husband killing himself in front of her. The post-traumatic stress disorder from her previous relationship probably made it harder for Blanche to commit because all she could imagine is that things never last and they will hurt her in the end. Especially when it came to her desires for Stanley, “she intuitively knows that he will destroy her” (388). She has now paired her sexual desires with destruction in her mind. This development could have occurred when Allen, her gay husband, killed himself in front of her, when she had an affair with one of her high school aged students and she lost everything, or the fact that they lost their home except their cemetery because of the affairs that Blanche and Stella’s ancestors had previously. Everything that involved desire ended with pain, however, I believe that Mitch denying her and Stanley raping her, is what really cemented that correlation between pain and desire. Those previous events imply that Blanche was…show more content…
There are strong claims in his article that Blanche represents a desire that can’t be tamed even if she had gotten married to Mitch. The play shows “how far one can go following one’s desire” (390). Stella no longer follows her own desire because she is now trapped serving Stanley’s desire. Blanche was unable to resist her desires for Allen, the young student, the young paper boy, and even Stanley’s desires. That is why they considered her to be a threat because of her mental inability to control her inner desires due to previous
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