Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams

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

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

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Themes and Linking Quotes
Death:
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.'
`Varsouviana'
Mexican flower seller ­ `flores para los muertos'
Desire:
Desire is a destructive power ­ `Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?' `It brought me
here.'
Blanche desires the security Mitch brings, not him ­ `the poor man's paradise ­ is a little
peace'
Stella is aware that Blanche desires the security ­ `Blanche, do you want him?'
Streetcars/Fate:
Links desire and death ­ `take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called
Cemeteries'
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.
Madness:
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!'
Fantasy/Reality:
`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
going!'
`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:
Blanche:

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

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