Play by Tennessee Williams Dec 3rd 1947


flowchart LR

A(Blanch D)
B(Stella K)
C(Stanley K)


Blanche DuBois

Protagonist was from a well off family 30s, no money lost ancestral house


Blanche’s sister

Stanley Kowalski

Stella’s husband Blanche thinks of him as




Neighbour Mannerly


Blanche takes a leave from her job citing nerves (neurasthenia??) Goes to her sister’s place. She disapproves of her sister and her husband, and their living condition.

Belle Reve

  • Blanche arrives at Stella’s apartment, claiming that she lost their ancestral home Belle Reve and that she is on a leave of absence from her teaching job due to her nerves.
  • Blanche and Stanley clash over their different social backgrounds and values. Stanley suspects Blanche of lying about Belle Reve and hiding her past.
  • Blanche and Mitch, one of Stanley’s friends, develop a romantic attraction. Blanche confides in Mitch about her tragic marriage to a young man who committed suicide after she discovered his homosexuality.
  • Stanley overhears Blanche’s conversation with Stella and learns about Blanche’s history of sexual promiscuity and mental instability. He also finds out that Blanche was fired from her job for having an affair with a student.
  • On Blanche’s birthday, Stanley gives her a ticket back to Laurel as a cruel gift. He also tells Mitch the truth about Blanche, causing Mitch to break up with her.
  • After Stella goes into labor, Stanley r*pe Blanche in the apartment. Blanche suffers a mental breakdown and is taken away by a doctor and a nurse. Stella, who does not believe Blanche’s accusation, stays with Stanley and their baby.

opens in an area of New Orleans called Elysian Fields Blanche DuBois comes to visit her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski who live in a first-floor apartment

Blanche waits alone in the apartment for her sister to arrive sneaking a drink of liquor

Stella soon arrives and greets her sister warmly Blanche reveals that their family lost their home a plantation called Belle Reve (French for beautiful dream then)

Then, Stanley arrives Blanche’s demure air contrasts sharply with his crude working-class manners Stanley soon confronts Blanche about the plantation Blanche shows Stanley her business papers that show it was lost because its mortgage was foreclosed someone appeased Stanley lets slip that Stella is pregnant in the rising action Stanley and his friends mitch, steven, and pablo play poker in the kitchen stanley is annoyed because he’s losing and he eventually explodes and beats Stella Stella and Blanche leave the apartment and go to Eunice’s apartment on the second floor Stanley’s friend’s calm him down a remorseful Stanley bursts outside and cries out repeatedly for Stella she comes down she and Stanley embrace and Stanley carries her into the bedroom

while Stanley is out Blanche tries to convince Stella to leave her husband because of the horrible way he treats her but Stanley returns to the house and secretly overhears their conversation

Stanley and Blanche’s dislike for one another becomes a simmering Feud meanwhile Blanche and Stanley’s friend Mitch becomes romantically serious

Blanche explains to Mitch that years earlier she married a young man but she caught her husband in a sexual situation with another man Blanche told him that he disgusted her so her husband went outside and shot himself dead Mitch says it sounds as if both he and Blanche need somebody they kiss

Stanley tries to derail their burgeoning courtship by telling Mitch about Blanche’s sordid past Blanche had affairs with several men

and she became notorious in her hometown also Blanche had sex with one of her high school students and when the school administration found out they fired Blanche from her teaching position at

Blanche’s sad birthday dinner Mitch does not show up and Stanley gives Blanche a birthday present in the form of a one-way ticket back to Laura then Stella feels birth pains until Stanley to take her to the hospital when Blanche is alone in the apartment Mitch who is half drunk visits and tells Blanche she isn’t clean enough to bring home to his mother. Blanche screams and Mitch leaves in the climax of the play

Stanley comes back from the hospital to get some sleep and he mocks Blanche and calls her a liar he attacks her then forces her onto the bed and r*pe her

in the falling action Blanche becomes mentally unstable and in the resolution of the play Stella makes arrangements to take blanche to the state mental hospital she couldn’t believe Blanche’s story about Stanley r*ping her because Stella wants to preserve her marriage Stella sobs uncontrollably as a doctor leads her sister away Stanley tries to soothe his wife who will not be hustled

comes from a formerly wealthy southern family that owned a plantation called Belle Reve raised as a refined lady Blanche does not cope well with life’s harsh realities and feels she needs a man to protect her

Blanche chooses desire and illusion to suppress the reality of death and loss when Blanche was young she married a man who committed suicide when Blanche rejected him for being homosexual since then Blanche has had affairs with several men including a 17 year old boy in

an attempt to escape the trauma she’s a desperate woman who’s lost everything but still keeps up her southern-belle act to protect herself from the harsh world and to get a man to marry her Blanche’s ladylike affections clash with gruff Stanley’s crude manners and they come to hate each other eventually

Stanley is a crude domineering man who’s physically imposing and sees himself as the ruler of his family when Stanley feels this power structure is threatened he can become violent throwing things and even beating Stella Stanley has a strong sexual and emotional bond with his wife when Blanche comes to stay with him and Stella

often relies on physical intimidation Stanley hates what he perceives as Blanche’s superior attitude toward him and sees her as a threat to his family order as a result he uncovers the truth about Blanche’s sexual history and Laurel and uses it against her then r*pe her Stella Kowalski is Stanley’s wife and Blanche DuBois younger sister Stella is more practical and adaptable than Blanche willing to cast aside her upper-class affectations to marry Stanley a working-class man Stella acts as a mediator between Blanche and Stanley she loves them both she refuses to believe Blanche’s story about being raped by Stanley if Stella did believe it she would not be able to live with her husband instead Stella betrays her sister helping Stanley get rid of Blanche by sending her to a mental institution Mitch is Stanley Kowalski’s good friend he served in the Army with Stanley and works for the same company Mitch is single and lives with his sick mother and he has an innate kindness and gentleness he believes Blanche’s southern-belle act and falls in love with her Blanche likes Mitch and wants to marry him so he will protect her when Stanley tells Mitch the truth about Blanche’s sexual history and Laurel Mitch becomes disillusioned and bitter refusing to marry her in the end he tries to prevent Stanley from forcing Blanche to leave but his attempt proves futile and he remains a broken man dominated by Stanley desire destruction and death truth versus illusion repression and dependence class differences passion and sexuality these complex themes underscore the relationships that drive the action of the play a streetcar named desire the play is for major characters Blanche Stanley Stella and Mitch are driven by a variety of desires than almost always lead to their destruction and to the destruction of those around them for example Blanche is torn between conflicting desires of finding romantic love and marriage that will protect her from life’s harsh realities but her husband’s death has driven her to sexual promiscuity and drinking that drives her away from these things Blanche often resorts to lies to prevent other people and possibly herself from seeing the truth which ultimately leads to her destruction Stanley’s greatest desires to maintain his dominant position as head of the family but his marriage to Stella is an ongoing cycle of sexual desire and violence when Blanche threatens his domination of his family Stanley decides to destroy her by exposing her passed and by r*ping her truth versus illusion is a theme mostly playing out through Blanche and Stanley Blanche has trouble looking at the unvarnished truth because of this she lives in the dimly lit world of half-truths and illusion hiding behind her refined often manipulative southern manners but Stanley is bluntly honest and crude and he despises lying but has no compassion for others he uses the truth as a weapon to control and destroy Blanche for stella compassion overrides truth and she believes her sister’s behavior is understandable considering the tragic outcome of Blanche’s marriage in the end stella chooses illusion over truth in order to preserve her marriage repression and dependence speak to the place context a time when women were expected to be dependent on men both financially and emotionally a dependence that dictated the course of their lives the death of her young husband and the loss of her family home have made Blanche especially vulnerable and Stella’s financial emotional and sexual dependence on her husband Stanley trapped her in a wife with a horrible man who abuses her and r*pe her sister class differences are depicted through the characters clash in social classes Blanche bases her identity on being a refined southern belle who appreciates the finer things in life Stella has left her upper-class background behind to join Stanley Blanche sees her sisters choice as a big step down in social status but low-class Stanley rips away Blanche’s mask of superiority disconfirms Blanche’s view of him as no better than an animal represented by the in human jungle voices and lurid reflections when he r*pe her passion and sexuality of characters in the play reflects the way they view the world Blanche’s sexual exploits are a way for her to escape the reality of her husband’s suicide and the role she played in it Stanley exudes a confident animal sexuality that binds him to his wife Stella Stella is possessed by a need to fulfil that sexual passion for Stanley but Stanley also uses sexuality as a weapon r*ping Blanche in order to dominate her


Sexual Desire and Sexuality

The power of sexual desire is the engine propelling A Streetcar Named Desire: all of the characters are driven by “that rattle-trap street-car” in various ways.

Illusion vs Truth / Fantasy and Delusion vs Reality

how Blanche copes