Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams

Short sheet of main quotations, themes and phrases to remember.

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  • Created on: 08-06-12 17:13
Preview of Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams

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Themes and Linking Quotes
Gruesome descriptions ­ `burned like rubbish', `bloodstained pillowslips'
Romanticising death ­ `at sea sewn up in a clean white sack'
Death of Allan ­ `the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again.'
Mexican flower seller ­ `flores para los muertos'
Desire is a destructive power ­ `Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?' `It brought me
Blanche desires the security Mitch brings, not him ­ `the poor man's paradise ­ is a little
Stella is aware that Blanche desires the security ­ `Blanche, do you want him?'
Links desire and death ­ `take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called
Sums up Blanche's life: driven by sexual desire and finally ending up in the `living
death' of the asylum.
Real streetcars in New Orleans which Williams was struck by.
A streetcar running unswervingly on its rails to the destination could be seen as a symbol of
the inexorability of fate.
Keeps hinting at her unstable condition ­ `Because ­ as you must have noticed ­ I'm ­ not
very well...'
Hearing the music and gunshot as a reminder of Allan's death ­ `There now, the shot! It
always stops after that!'
`It's only a paper moon, just as phoney as it can be ­ But it wouldn't be make believe if you
believed in me.'
Sexual Attraction:
`I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it having them coloured lights
`I was ­ sort of ­ thrilled by it'
Stanley invites Blanche to undress in front of him ­ `Go ahead.'
Natural Selection/New vs. Old:
Stanley and Blanche fighting for survival and Stella as the prize.
Old South vs. New Orleans ­ old culture vs. new multiculturalism.
Words and phrases to remember:

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Promiscuous, assumed airs, nervously disposed, nervous verbosity, loquacious, façade,
vulnerable, class snobbery, inconsistencies in character, sexual desire, alcoholism, fantasy,
Aggressive, lustful, masculine, sexual magnetism and undertones, blunt, predatory, bully,
colloquial, alpha male, sexual domination, altered perception
Gentle, realistic, sarcastic, independent, complacent, devotion to husband, physical passion,
domesticated, burden of guilt
Awkward, clumsy, slow thinking, safe haven, in Stanley's shadow, dullwitted, sensitive…read more


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