Streetcar Named Desire Characters



Stella's older sister. Supposedly to visit-> actually because she has no money, job (was HS English teacher- lost job because of a relationship with a student) or anywhere to go.

The play's tragic heroine- her weaknesses along with others failing to understand her leads to her committal to an institution.

Detailed description in scene 1 (others are brief). Intense description revealed throughout the play through stage directions and compliments from other characters.

Snobbery- dismissal of neighbors kindness, dismissal of eunices grapes bc cleanliness

Guilt- heavy drinker to dull emotional pain and takes long baths to wash it away (also good dramatic feature to allow other characters to speak.

Inconsistant character- tells mitch she is respectable in scene 6 >she flirted with stanley scenes 2 and 3 and the charity boy in scene 5. Cultural pretensions designed to impress people with superiority > genuinely loves poetry. Ignorant with the cause of the loss of Belle Reve > knows the root of it is her family's extravagant spending on immoral self indulgences.

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Blanche x2

Hides her alcoholism behind euphemisms but does recognise some weaknesses ('I've got to be good and keep my hands off children', scene 5)

1 weakness she never admits/doesnt know about > recklessness which makes her risk her chance of security (young man s.5, mitch s.6) 

Never speaks of them unless telling self to be good-> doesnt know her own motives

Inconsistency and uncertainty makes her character human

Always demanding attention. Hardly offstage and even when she is you can still hear her (singing) 

Every scene except scene 4 in the play ends with Blanche centre stage

Irritating mannerisms fade away. Blanche's line 'Whoever you are- I have always depended n the kindness of strangers' followed by steves at the end of the play serves to undermine the pathos of Blanche's fate (both show unconcern)

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Polish descent, born in USA, Stella's husband, antagonist

Little physical description of him, instead focuses on the effect he has on people around him.

Core perosnality: masculinity and awareness of sexual magnetism, pride in ability to attract and satisfy women.

Garish bowling shirt and wedding pjs are the plumage of 'a richly feathered male bird among hens'

Ungrammatical speech = lack of education

As acutely aware of class differences as Blanche is

He resents where his wife comes from > cause of conflict with Blanche

Final view of stanley (after the ****)- Blanche still fears him but leaves without a backwards glance

His character is unchanged yet we see him differently as do the other characters.

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Married to Stanley, DuBois of Belle Reve, Blanche's younger sister

Not much direct informtion about appearance or character, we learn from other characters comments (e.e. Blanche comments on Stella's quiet, reserved manner)

Dry, sarcastic note heard as Stella speaks but unnoticed by Blanche 'I like to wait on you Blanche. It makes it seem more like home' (S.5, p.54)

'home' conjures up a world they used to share together implying this still exists for the two even though shes committed herself to Stanley now

Blanche treats her like a child ('stand up') 

Stella doesnt comment on her plumpness because she is pregnant- secretive nature

No objection to patronising from Blanche but is quick to speak when adverse comments made about Stan

Divided loyalties

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(Harold Mitchell) Stans friend + work at same factory, same regiment in the war. At first loves Blanche + wants to marry her but can't face her past and abandons her.

Least important- significant to plot

Offers Blanche safe haven > prompts Stan to find out about her past to protect him

His attraction > Stanley encouraged to think of her as sexually desirable (scene 10)

No physical description in stage directions, just 'a heavy build' (S.6, p.62) 

No character description either, left to audiences perception

Not a natural gentleman but kinder than Stans other friends. 

Dull-witted and incapable of understanding Blanche's explanation of her past behaviour

He resents Stans role in Blanche's downfall trying to call him a Braggart and Bullly- does he wish Stanley couldve left him in ignorance of her past? Hes reduced to a pathetic figure. 

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Minor Characters

Steve + Eunice Hubbel >                                                                                                            Eunice is kind and well meaning, more assertive than Stella (' you can't beat a woman and then call her back' S.3, p.38).

Steve more sympathetic to women than Stan ('aw let the girls have their music' S.3, p.31)

Pablo> Spanish descent, shows New Orleans is a cosmopolitan city. 

The ------ woman, the young collector and the mexican woman>

----- woman- neighbor of Kowlskis, shows the 'rough' character of the Elysian Fields district 'cacking hysterically, swaying drunkenly' (S.5, p.56) and prepositioning young collector

His role is to demonstrate Blanche's recklessness + weakness for handsome young men

Blind mexican woman = an ominous presence reminding Blanche of death when she sells her flowers for the dead

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