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Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire takes place in New Orleans in the late 1940s. Stanley Kowalski, a violent Polish-American and his wife, Stella, live in a rundown apartment in a poor area of the city. They are met one day by Stella's sister, Blanche Dubois, who has come to visit. Tension soon rules the apartment: Blanche does not approve of Stanley, and Stanley does not appreciate Blanche drinking all of his liquor. It is soon obvious that Stanley is attracted to Blanche, and Stanley becomes jealous when Blanche shows an interest in his friend, Mitch. Stanley soon finds that Blanche has many dark secrets: Her former husband committed suicide after she discovered him in bed with another man. She has lost the family home, and she has been forced to leave her previous town because of sexual impropriety with a much younger man. Mitch considers marrying Blanche until Stanley reveals her secrets, and Mitch later reappears in a drunken state and tries to rape her. After fighting Mitch off, Blanche gets drunk and appears headed for madness, believing a millionaire will arrive to take her away from her problems. When Stanley returns from the hospital, where Stella gives birth, he finds Blanche dressed in a formal gown, preparing to leave. Stanley then carries her upstairs and rapes her. After Stella returns from the hospital, she refuses to believe the truth--that Stanley has raped her sister--and she agrees with Stanley that Blanche must be mad. The play ends with a doctor from a local mental hospital arriving to take Blanche away. Mad or not, Blanche eventually takes the doctor's arm, telling him that she has always trusted the kindness of strangers. Only Stanley remains calm, knowing his life will continue as always.
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