A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire book cover
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In "A Streetcar Named Desire," what does the streetcar named Desire symbolize? 

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is definitely symbolism in the title of this Tennessee Williams play, and in the reference early in scene 1 to “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The story takes place in a decidedly low-income section of New Orleans. It is a blue-collar neighborhood in which the men perform manual labor during the day and bowl and drink during the evening. Stanley Kowalski and his friend Mitch are the personification of Williams’s vision for the setting of his play. It is with the introduction of Blanche, however, that the full-meaning of the streetcar’s name becomes evident. Williams’s stage directions introducing the character of Blanche evoke the image of a woman who has seen better times and who is aging more quickly than her years would otherwise suggest. Notice in the following playwright’s note the description of Blanche:

Her appearance is incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat,...

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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shosho91 | Student

streetcar named desire means (sex) Blanch's desire because when she arrives to New Orleans as a some what broken women she keeps alive her desire to be with a man and to lead a life as an elegant respectable women .......