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A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

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What is the basic plot of A Streetcar Named Desire?

The basic plot of A Streetcar Named Desire involves the conflict between Blanche and Stanley.

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The basic plot of A Streetcar Named Desire involves the conflict between Blanche Dubois and her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. Blanche is a fading southern belle with a scandalous past. She moves in with Stanley and her sister Stella in New Orleans, all the while yearning for her past as a promising and wealthy debutante and mocking Stanley for his brutishness. She is also haunted by her late husband's suicide.

Stanley grows tired of Blanche's affected manner and snobbery, so he starts investigating her past. He discovers she was recently chased out of Laurel, Mississippi for sleeping with a high school student at her teaching job and that she also worked as a prostitute. He uses this information to thwart Blanche's budding romance with his friend Mitch, who she sees as her last chance at respectability and happiness. No longer able to hide behind her constant lies about her situation or her age, Blanche begins to mentally deteriorate. She completely loses her hold on reality when Stanley rapes her while they are the only two people in the house. The play ends with Stella committing Blanche to an asylum, unwilling to accept that Stanley had anything to do with her sister's state.

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