A Streetcar named Desire

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Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar named Desire” is about a woman, Blanche DuBois, who goes to visit her sister and her husband. Throughout the play, Blanche continues to try to live her old life that she had when she was a young girl and cannot except the fact that that life is over. Also, Blanche's sister, Stella, refuses to accept the reality that she is in an abusive marriage. These are continued problems that run throughout the course of play and display the theme that sometimes, people have a hard time letting go of their dreams and facing reality.

When Blanche first comes to visit Stella, she is all dressed up “as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party”. When she and Stella were younger, they lived on a plantation and were fairly well-off. Blanche was also always being pursued by boys. The reader later finds out that Blanche has lost the plantation, is poor, and men are no longer very interested. But, because Blanche cannot live with the reality she now faces, she pretends that she is still rich and that she often goes “out on the town” and has men chasing her all the time. She constantly is trying to convince Stella to leave her husband, Stanley, and move away because she thinks Stella deserves to being living in a better house, under better conditions. Blanche cannot understand the fact the Stella is happy and that the dreams she is holding onto are no longer within reach.

The inability to let go of dreams is also a problem for Blanche's sister, Stella. She is married to Stanley, who is a nice man, but gets wild and out of hand when he gets drunk. On many occasions he has hit her. While Blanche is staying with them and sees this happen, she tries to convince Stella to leave him because he does not treat her well enough. Stella refuses and says that Stanley does not mean to hit her and is not a bad husband. The truth is, she is scared to face the fact that he is abusing her and not treating her as he should. Stella is scared to leave Stanley and be alone. Because of this, she continues to put up with the abuse and holds on the fantasy that she is in a happy, healthy marriage.

In both of these characters, Blanche and Stella, this theme of not being able to let go of fantasies is fully displayed. Whether because of previous lives or a determination to be happy, they are unable to realize the true reality they face and continue to firmly hold onto their dreams.





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