A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

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How is the idea of naturalism depicted in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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As I understand it, the difference between naturalism and realism in fiction is that naturalism strives to be more interesting by being more dramatic while still maintaining its atmosphere of realism. Reality is not necessarily interesting. In fact, it is usually pretty boring and monotonous, as most of us can attest from our own lives. With naturalism, interesting things happen to the characters in a realistic setting and in a realistic way. A lot happens in "A Streetcar Named Desire," but it all seems to be happening to ordinary people who just happen to be going through one of the critical periods that occur in every life. This is something we have all experienced in our own lives, too. There were many days when nothing happened. There were emergency situations that came up--often completely unexpectedly--and then our lives went back into the normal mode of reality. Theodore Dreiser's great novels "Sister Carrie" and "An American Tragedy " are examples of naturalism. James T. Farrell's...

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