Illustration of a man and a woman embracing

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Start Free Trial

In A Streetcar Named Desire, what about the setting and/or characters are realistic?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are many different elements seen in Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire" which are depicted realistically.


Stanley- Stanley is depicted as a man's man. Hard-working, brutish, and manly, Stanley is the epitome of a masculine working-class man. He bowls, drinks, plays poker, and runs his home with an iron fist. Stereotypically, he can be identified as a stock character in regards to his persona and the way he carries himself.

Blanche- Blanche is the stock Southern Belle. She believes that her beauty is her most important trait. She, while her behavior does not speak to the reality of the Southern Belle's life, believes herself to exist in a station in life where she does not. Made poor by her male family, she stands proud and believes that a woman is to be taken care of by a strong man.

Stella- Stella is the typical abused woman. She fails to see that her life could be better without the abuse, disillusioned by the extreme love she has for her husband. Stanley rules their home with an iron fist and she is accepting of this, like the "good little wife" she is.


The setting of the play is very realistic. The oppressive heat and shabbily decorated flats of the characters depict the working class life seen in New Orleans. The music of the area is splattered throughout the play, in the same way it is splattered throughout the city.

The bowling alley, bars, flats and music all depict life in New Orleans

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team