A Streetcar Named Desire Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

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What does the title of A Streetcar Named Desire refer to?

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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 describes the route to Eunice. It is mentioned again in Scene 4. This time Blanche tells Stella that it was "that rattle-trap street-car that bangs through the Quarter" that brought her to Stella's. Desire brought her there in both a literal and figurative sense.

In the figurative sense, Blanche's desire, i.e. her sexual appetite, brought her to the Kowalski home. It was her sexual adventures in Laurel that resulted in the destruction of her reputation and led to her leaving. There are numerous examples of how Blanche's desires have led to bad ends for her. It is her desires that, like the streetcar with that name, leads Blanche from one place and condition to another.

It is noteworthy that the literal route that Blanche initially takes to Stella's and Stanley's bears the names of the metaphorical...

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