A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire follows the story of Blanche Du Bois, a former school teacher. For secret reasons, she leaves her home and moves in with her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley Kowalski. The play deals with the culture clash between the two protagonists, Stanley, a rising member of the urban immigrant class, and Blanche, a fading but still attractive Southern Belle. Blanche’s virtue and culture thinly mask her alcoholism and delusions of grandeur. Her poise is an illusion set up to shield herself from reality, yet she still attempts to make herself attractive to new male suitors.
Violence and cruelty appear as a theme in this play. Violence is often fraught with sexual passion. For instance, Stella explains her love for Stanley despite his brutality to Blanche. There is the unnerving suggestion that violence is more willingly accepted by women in a marriage than one would like to believe.
Another theme that arises during the play is sex role. During the time period of this play, women had minor roles. Although she is an educated woman who has worked as a teacher, Blanche is nonetheless constrained by the expectations of Southern society. She often depends of men to lean on and protect her. She understands that sexual freedom does not fit the pattern of chaste behavior, which Blanche would be expected to conform.
In the beginning of the play, Blanche Du Bois presents herself with an air of poise and elegance. However as the story progresses, Blanche, who is psychologically deluded about her beauty and attractiveness, reveals herself to be a neurotic and an alcoholic. Her flirtatious desires are split from her surface talk and behavior. She is unable to face her past and is constantly taking baths as if to clean her conscience.
In contrast to Blanche, Stanley Kowalski appears as an angry, animalistic man who is reliant of his basest instincts. Blanche describes him as “simple, straight-forward...