5 min read ⌚
If this sentence does not ring any bells, then you must not be a Brando fan.
This time we are giving you a summary of a play, that first premiered on Broadway, and then got its movie form as well: “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Who Should Read “A Streetcar Named Desire”? And Why?
“A Streetcar Named Desire” is a Pulitzer winning play and is regarded as one of the best plays of the 20th century.
It is a story about a broke schoolteacher Blanche, that arrives at her sister’s home in New Orleans, having nowhere else to go and the trajectory of her life.
The streetcar is a symbol of the events that happened in her life: she first rode a streetcar named Desire, and then one called Cemeteries.
We recommend this play to readers of modern plays. If you do not like to read, we suggest you at least take a look at the movie.
Tennessee Williams Biography
Tennessee Williams is one of the most successful and prolific playwrights if the 20th century.
The story opens up with Blanche DuBois arriving in New Orleans and heads toward her sister Stella’s apartment. We learn that he is a schoolteacher and that she and Stella are not in good terms for some time now, but still, she plans to stay for a while at her place and judging by her baggage that won’t be only for a couple of days.
The moment she arrives, she breaks it to Stella that she lost the home their relatives left them, and she gave absence from her job, because of, as she says “bad nerves”.
We can immediately see the character of Blanche, as she does not have enough money to pay for a room to stay in and yet nitpicks everything about Stella’s home and the neighborhood it is in.
It is no wonder that Stella’s husband instantly dislikes her and starts doubting her that she tricked his wife out of her part of the inheritance.
However, soon we discover that she lost the inheritance due to a foreclosed mortgage, which reveals that Blanche is in the quite bad financial situation, and has some problems she wishes to conceal from her sister and her sister’s husband.
But, do not think that Stella and her husband Stanley have it all!
In fact, it is quite the opposite. They are together as a result of animal magnetism and sexual desire, and not real love and respect.
Their marriage is far from happy, and we can see it in more than one instance, the first being the moment when Stanley is playing poker in his apartment and sees Blanche winning the affection of one of his friends.
He makes a scene and even beats Stella as she defends her sister.
Later that night, he begs Stella to forgive him, and to Blanche’s surprise, she does.
The next day, Blanche feels like it is time to have a talk with her sister, and tries to make her consider leaving Stanley and finding a better man for herself. However, Stanley walks in and hears parts of the conversation, and he uses his knowledge of Blanche’s past to blackmail her.
We get just a hint of her past during her open discussion with Stanley’s friend, whom she is now dating, in which she reveals that her former husband committed suicide after she found out that he is in fact, homosexual.
The next scene takes us one month later, on the day of Blanche’s birthday.
However, although it seems as it will be a happy day, it turns out another way.
Stanley reveals to Stella that he has learned about Stella’s past. She lost the inheritance, moved to a motel from which she was evicted because of her sexual indiscretions, and was fired from her job at the school because she seduced a student.
As the “party” begins and Stanley’s friend never comes, we realize that Stanley has told these things to him as well, and so does Blanche, when Stanley indicates that he knows about her past.
His cruelty does not stop there, though.
He gives her a bus ticket (one-way) back to her town.
This seems to be the last drop in the glass for Stella, and she gets mad, but Stella is pregnant, and about to give birth, so the labor prevents her from fighting with Stanley.
Several hours pass and Blanche is already drunk. The guy she was dating arrives, also drunk, and tells her that he could never imagine a future with her since she is not whom he imagined her to be.
However, he tries to have sex with her, since he sees her as easy, but she pushes him away yelling “fire” to get the attention of the people that pass on the street.
After he leaves, Stanley arrives.
He, happy because of the baby, tries to make her celebrate, but she does not want to.
As she tries to pass him, he gets violent, and things escalate that far that he takes her to the bedroom and rapes her.
A Streetcar Named Desire Epilogue
Several weeks later, Stella packs her sister’s bags, while Stanley plays cards with his friends and Blanche is in the bathroom.
We find out that very soon, a doctor is to take her to an asylum, thinking she is insane, but Blanche believes that she will be leaving with her lover.
Stella could not believe the story that her husband raped her.
Soon, the doctor arrives, and Blanche gets out of the bathroom, and the verbalization of her thoughts make us realize that she has indeed lost her mind.
At first, she fights back not wanting to leave, but then when the doctor approaches her gently, she agrees to it.
As she leaves, Stella cries holding her child in her hands, while Stanley comforts her, uttering loving words.
What an ending!
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“A Streetcar Named Desire PDF Quotes”What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains. Click To Tweet I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Click To Tweet I don't want realism. I want magic! Click To Tweet Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with! Click To Tweet Show me a person who hasn´t known any sorrow and I´ll show you a superficial. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
I, as a Brando fan, have always loved this movie! So, you can just imagine how overjoyed I was when I finally read the play.
Usually, I do not find plays interesting, but oh boy, has this one hooked me in completely!
I warmly recommend it.
And, if you really, really, really hate reading plays, then at least watch the movie. Trust me; you won’t regret.