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A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

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How does loneliness tie in as an overall theme of A Streetcar Named Desire?  

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There's so much loneliness in A Streetcar Named Desire, yet no one ever seems to find a remedy for it. Blanche certainly doesn't. She's the loneliest character in the whole play, not least because she's a fish out of water. Blanche comes from a good family, and despite her shady past still considers herself a fine, upstanding Southern lady. Staying with her sister and Stanley in their cramped apartment represents a bit of a come down for Blanche, and this isolates her further. She tries her level best to be friendly with Stanley, but he sees right through her. In any case, the two are like chalk and cheese; there's no way in a million years they'd ever get on.

But the real tragedy for Blanche is that she 's destined to remain lonely for the rest of her life. She's broken all the rules of so-called decent society, and once you cross that line, there's no way back. Mitch's treatment of Blanche is a brutal reminder of that. Mitch too is incredibly lonely, and for a while it seems that he and Blanche might be able to form some kind of connection. But once Mitch finds out about Blanche's sordid past, then whatever might have existed between them instantly vanishes. In this deeply old-fashioned society, if you're lonely but respectable, then there's always a chance of finding someone. But if you're lonely and disreputable like Blanche, and especially if you happen to be a woman, then loneliness is the punishment that society exacts upon you.

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Loneliness is a dominate theme in the play "A Streetcar Named Desire". Almost all of the characters experience loneliness in some fashion or another.

Blanche is above and beyond the loneliest character. While she seems to exude the right characteristics used to surround one self with many friends, one can tell from her past that she has never really found her place. Blanche was a prostitute. She needed to feel the security of a man simply to feel loved- even if for one night.  Unfortunately, this "profession" caught up with her and ruined her one chance at a true relationship.

Stella can be seen as being lonely at certain points in the play as well. While she finds comfort in a neighbor after being abused by Stanley, her need lies with him- for it is only when she is with him when she feels complete. Therefore, when she leaves Stanly, even for a night, she considers herself lonely.

Mitch is another character who houses loneliness. He has lost a love and finds refuge in his mother. He knows that his mother will not live forever. He needs to find a woman to love him the way his mother does. Unfortunately, he thought he had that in Blanche, but he was wrong.

Many references to music signify loneliness as well. The lone instruments portray solitude. Another symbol is the Mexican woman sells flowers for the dead. She is alone and selling flowers to those who have been left as well.

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