Tennessee Williams was obsessed with the distance between socially accepted illusions of behavior, social status, emotional expression, etc., the illusions of life, and the realities underneath the social patina. His most famous play, The Glass Menagerie, encapsulates the theme in the glass collection of figures. In Streetcar, the illusion is the “marriage” of Stanley and Stella, on the surface a real connection but in reality almost a master-slave relationship, in that the tensions of her situation manifest in Stanley’s gruffness and non-empathy. Blanche’s arrival upsets the delicate balance the married couple have established, because Blanche is all “illusion” of a particularly Southern kind. Her flirtatious behavior, which woos the poker players overtly and Stanley indirectly, is not real promiscuity or sensuality, but an illusion she has constructed all her life (poker itself is a game of exaggerating and idealizing the reality of your cards). The details—“What’s this?-- A solid gold dress, I believe”, for example—give this tension a stage presence, a dramatic conflict between the real world and the constructed illusions. The key points, hidden in the play's ironic title, are the buried troubles of the marriage, the “performance” that Blanche acts out her whole life, and the New Orleans culture they live in, itself an illusion of gaiety and fun, but in actuality poverty-stricken and uneducated.