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A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

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As seen in "A Streetcar Named Desire," what are the fates suffered as a result of the main characters' different life choices?

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The characters in Tennessee Williams' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire," suffer different fates based upon the decisions they make.

Stanley Kowalski

Stanley comes out of the play the most unscathed. Even after abusing Stella and raping Blanche, Stanley is able to maintain control of both his life and his home. At the end of the play, Stanley is seen playing poker with his friends (as seen earlier in the play). For Stanley, nothing changes. He is able to make choices which solidify his fate--a life he completes controls.

Stella Kowalski

Stella's choices in life commit her to a life of abuse and oppression. Her repeated choice to stay with Stanley (even after the abuse and rape accusation by Blanche) forces Stella's fate to be one which is self-inflicted. For the rest of her life, Stella will be forced to live with a man who is capable of complete and utter violence.

Blanche du Bois

Blanche's choices in life have led her on a path of self-destruction. Symbolized by her coming to Elysian Fields on the streetcars named Desire and Cemeteries, Blanche is destined to end up dead (either physically, emotionally, or mentally). Her desire, which has controlled her life, will be responsible for the climatic clash seen between her and Stanley at the end of the play. If Blanche would not have made the choice to allow sex to rule her life, her fate of the mental ward may not have come.

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