A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire book cover
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What is the significance of the title of A Streetcar Named Desire?

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A Streetcar Named Desire's title operates on many levels. Firstly, it references the name of the streetcar Blanche mentions taking before the play begins. However, the title also works on a metaphorical level. Blanche's desires are what have brought her not just to New Orleans, but to her current lowly state in general. Later in the play, it is revealed that Blanche seduced a student at the high school where she taught English, causing her to lose her job and reputation.

The specific instructions Blanche receives regarding where to get off when riding the streetcar are also metaphorical:

They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!

A streetcar named Desire leads her to a streetcar named Cemeteries, suggesting Blanche's actions and wishes have lead her only to death. "Elysian Fields" refers to the ancient Greek afterlife, further cementing Blanche's impending death—not a literal death, but...

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leohall82 | Student

To add up with jessie-The streetcar gives the image of a voyage,which is led by desire.. the voyage is mainly linked with the life of Blanche who ironically takes 'desire' and 'cemetreis' to finally reach NewOrleans,where destruction and death await her... and the result of taking 'A streetcar named desire' for her is expulsion from society at large...

jessiej10312 | Student

 

In the literal sense -  The streetcar Blanche takes to the Kowalski's is named "Desire".  If you look at the first scene she's talking about it.  

Metaphorically speaking though - Blanche is brought to the Kowalski's by desire - sexual desire. 

Also, after taking the "Desire" she has to change transportation and that is called "Cemetaries".   It's like  sexual desire leads to death, etc.