A Streetcar Named Desire American Dream

In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, how does the play reflect upon the reality of the American dream?

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A Streetcar Named Desire does not present a favorable view of the American dream for any of the characters. One walks away from the play feeling as if the American dream is only for men. Even then, it still is not very reachable. Stanley Kowalski's two historical allusions encapsulate his view of the American dream, which, since Stanley "triumphs" in the end, becomes the predominant slant of the play.

First, Stanley refers to the Napoleonic code, "according to which what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa." Stanley invokes this legalese in order to assert his right to half of Belle Reve, the plantation that Stella abandoned for her life with him. Granted, Stella would benefit from joint property laws as well considering Stanley's property consists of a rented one-bedroom flat in a shabby neighborhood. Stanley's main hope for achieving the American dream seems to be to acquire it through marriage. 

Secondly, Stanley invokes Huey Long, former Louisiana governor,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 803 words.)

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