Streetcar Named Desire Themes

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Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire brings its readers on a journey to decide for themselves what the most important things in life are: how to deal with one’s past; love or desire; blood family or chosen family. The character Stella deals with all of these things at once and has to decide what will truly become most important to her in the end. These major themes in the play are driven by Stella, a character who is neither the protagonist nor antagonist. The first theme that Stella’s character brings to the table is that a person’s past does define them. Stella, even though she is as far from her past as she can get (from a rich plantation to working class) is still defined by her past. When the reader first meets Stella, it is pointed out that she is “of a…show more content…
After Stanley beats Stella and she goes back, Blanche accuses Stella of being insane; Stella blames it on being in love. She claims that she is “not sure it would have made a difference where [she] saw him” because “there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark – that sort of make everything else seem – unimportant” (Williams, 1806). Blanche calls this “brutal desire” (Williams, 1806). Even when Stanley talks about when Stella and he were happy, he only includes details about how good their sex was. The main time that the reader can tell that Stanley really loves Stella is after he beats her and he calls her name into the night until she comes back to him and “her eyes go blind with tenderness” (Williams, 1802). This connects with one of the first things that Stella admits to Blanche about Stanley: whenever Stanley goes away she can “hardly stand it” (Williams, 1784). Not being able to be without the other is a basis for a very unhealthy relationship, and Stella only proves that this is probably the case as she runs back to him; although, she does say that she finds this side of him sort thrilling. (Williams,

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