A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers

A Streetcar Named Desire

The street vendor who makes an appearance at the end of scene 9 of A Streetcar Named Desire is only on stage for a very brief period of time, but her role nonetheless has great significance. An old...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2021, 12:20 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Belle Reve is the name of the former plantation where Stella and Blanche grew up in faded post-Civil War splendor (or decay, depending on your point of view). It is described as a southern mansion...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020, 4:45 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The poker games in A Streetcar Named Desire serve dramatic as well as symbolic functions. The first game brings Stanley's male friends into the apartment, allowing Blanche to meet Mitch. The second...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2020, 11:06 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

This phrase is a gentile way of suggesting that the "stranger" she is addressing will take care of her, and the unsaid, ambiguous implication is that she will be "grateful" for such care. The...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2020, 11:59 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Elysian Fields is the name of the street on which Stanley Kowalski lives with Stella. The street runs between the train tracks and the river, and it is in a poor district with what Williams...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2016, 12:00 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

There are three perspectives within A Streetcar Named Desire, one for each of the three major characters in the play. The relationship between Stella and Stanley appears to be abusive from...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2021, 6:51 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Scene 5 is pivotal towards the uncovering of the real Blanche Dubois. Having presented herself at her sister's house wearing her best garments and acting in her utmost polite ways, Blanche is...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2012, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

At first glance, the title A Streetcar Named Desire refers to the actual trolley that Blanche takes to get to the Kowalski home. It is first mentioned in the opening scene of the play when Blanche...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2020, 6:28 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Stella is madly in love with Stanley. She wouldn't consider leaving him. In Scene One she tells Blanche, "I can hardly stand it when he is away for a night . . . " And then, "When he's away for a...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2012, 9:47 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The ironic thing about this passage is that Blanche is, in some key ways, more like Stanley than she realizes. She complains that Stanley is motivated by brutal lust: being very blatant with his...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2019, 12:51 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2020, 12:43 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

I will take a bit of a different take on the statement. When Stanley says this to Blanche, it might signify that it was only a matter of time before the former would overtake and subsume the...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2010, 3:02 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Plastic theater is the term used to describe the use of props and other elements of staging—such as walls, sounds, and lighting—to mirror the emotional states of the characters on stage rather than...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2020, 3:35 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

In Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche arrives at her sister Stella's home via just such a streetcar, both literally and metaphorically. "Desire" refers to Blanche's previous...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2016, 2:52 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

There are mixed messages about family bonds in A Streetcar Named Desire. Bonds and loyalty to family members are important. We see this in the way that Stella takes her sister Blanche in at first,...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2021, 2:19 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche means in this utterance she has seen too much of the brutal realities of life: her husband's suicide over his homosexuality, her own poverty and prostitution, and behind that the fading of...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2017, 10:34 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

In scene two, Stanley is under the impression that Blanche has sold Belle Reve and kept the money to herself, which prompts him to approach her and bring up the "Napoleonic code." In typical...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2018, 5:30 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

This is a very good question. Stella's pregnancy may have several functions, such as being a very conspicuous symbol of the exceptionally powerful sexual relationship between her and Stanley and...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2016, 6:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

The old woman in "A Streetcar Named Desire" is walking around selling flowers to mourn the dead. She is a seemingly minor character of little importance, but her presence here is figurative and...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2019, 12:49 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

In her final monologue, Blanche imagines herself dying at sea after eating an unwashed grape. The situation seems to be one of relative opulence, on a yacht or a luxurious ocean liner, where the...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2020, 10:25 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

"Turn the trick" is a double entendre, meaning it has two meanings. The surface meaning is that Blanche realizes she is aging. This makes it more difficult for her to "turn the trick" of presenting...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2020, 8:18 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams provides a frame of reference for the age of Blanche DuBois in scene 1 of his classic American play A Streetcar Named Desire when Williams introduces Blanche's sister, Stella....

Latest answer posted October 13, 2020, 2:37 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche's husband Allan kills himself because of Blanche's reaction to his homosexuality. The teenage Blanche was madly in love with Allan when they were first married, attracted to his good looks...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2021, 11:39 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Stanley Kowalski's a domestic tyrant, a thuggish autocrat whose word is law in his household. It's not surprising, then, that he should look to the likes of Napoleon and Huey Long as political...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2018, 8:41 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams presents the diverse lives of sisters Blanche Dubois and Stella Kowalski. Blanche and Stella belonged to what was once a very rich and...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2011, 6:09 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams portrays Stella as a woman who loves her husband despite his abusive nature. There are times that the audience hopes that Stella is ready to leave...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2019, 11:38 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche DuBois is an iconic character because she has created such an engrossing deception about herself, her past, and her present and because of her struggle to continue to maintain this...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2018, 8:43 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Light represents reality, the very thing Blanche Dubois dreads most. She says to Mitch right up front, "I don't want realism. I want magic!" Blanche is a romantic who detests ugliness and...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2018, 5:00 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

There are a couple of quotes by Stanley in scene 10 that suggest that he is going to rape Blanche. He reaches a peak of exasperation with her in this scene over her continual lying and drinking....

Latest answer posted July 2, 2013, 8:27 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

In A Streetcar Named Desire, light is truth—something that Blanche repeatedly runs from. She is unable to face the truth about herself and her life, so she cloaks herself in shade and darkness....

Latest answer posted May 21, 2020, 3:01 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche is described in the play as "about" five years older than Stella, who is "about" twenty-five. This would make Blanche thirty or older. Later, she admits to Stella that she has lied about...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2021, 11:38 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche's fear of the searchlight, as well as any powerful light in general that is stronger than the gentle light of a candle, relates to her fear of being seen as she truly is, which means that...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2018, 9:32 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The previous answer set up the historical context for why Stanley would admire the policies of Huey Long. Stanley agrees with the idea that a man should be the master of his own home. Like Long,...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2019, 4:10 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The polka music, the Varsouviana, is one of the most important of the play’s many symbols. It represents Blanche’s worsening state of mind in the play. We learn from Scene Six, when Blanche relates...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2014, 2:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

In A Streetcar Named Desire, Mitch is Stanley’s friend who has distinct differences from yet some similarities to Stanley. Although briefly appearing in scene one, he is not fully introduced until...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2020, 3:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

The answer to this question can be found in an early conversation that happens between Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. Stanley actually states that Blanche is a teacher, and then he asks for...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2019, 5:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

A Streetcar Named Desire

There is no quote describing Blanche as a cat with a tin can tied to its tail, but there is a very similar quote where she compares herself to a kite with a can tied to it. The exact quote, from...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2013, 7:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire focuses on an aging Southern belle’s attempt to find a place for herself in her sister’s life. Her encounters with her aggressive brother-in-law...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2013, 1:33 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

I think that the previous post was very well spoken and strong in the analysis featured. I would only echo that the idea of appearance vs. reality is a driving element throughout the play....

Latest answer posted July 24, 2010, 6:42 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Although A Streetcar Named Desire is most overtly about gender roles in post-World War II New Orleans, a case can be made for a metaphorical interpretation that would comment upon the relationship...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2019, 2:34 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Soon after the opening of Scene One of A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams and first performed on Broadway in New York City in December 1947, Blanche du Bois enters the stage...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2019, 3:26 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

One of the most important images of the play is the paper lantern that Blanche buys. Blanche "can't stand a naked light bulb" because she is so self-conscious about her aging beauty. She needs the...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2019, 6:35 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

There are several "technical" aspects of "A Streetcar Named Desire" that show it be a modernist play. Traditional plays are divided into three or four acts, with some kind of intermission or pause...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2010, 4:06 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Both of these phrases were spoken by the character of Blanche DuBois in two separate poignant moments in the play. When she says Voule-vouz... she is speaking to the young man who was delivering to...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2010, 8:08 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Streetcar Named Desire

The problem with this question is that reconciliation implies two sides compromising or at least coming to a peace with one another. This does not happen between the Kowalskis and the Dubois in A...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2019, 12:58 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The two "romances" that are at the heart of A Streetcar Named Desire are between Stella and Stanley and between Blanche and the imaginary idea of romance that she has created within her own...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2020, 9:37 pm (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

When Blanche recounts the story of Allan Grey's death, in scene six, she describes him as "a boy, just a boy" who came to her "for help." She says that he was, metaphorically, "in the quicksands...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2019, 9:04 am (UTC)

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A Streetcar Named Desire

At the end of scene 10, Stanley and Blanche fight and he carries her away to rape her. During scene 10, Stanley catches Blanche in a lie. He goads her on and fights with her after she's continued...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2019, 2:18 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

A Streetcar Named Desire

On the face of it, Mitch seems like the complete antithesis of the hulking Neanderthal that is Stanley Kowalski. But despite his gentlemanly image and impeccable manners he still shares some of the...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2017, 2:13 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

A Streetcar Named Desire

Many characters experience loneliness in this play, but the one who could be said to be the most lonely- and who acts upon that loneliness- is Blanche DuBois. Blanche spends all of her time in the...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2016, 7:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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