A Streetcar Named Desire is a play that was first published in 1947 by a guy named Tennessee Williams. He introduces us characters like Blanche, who is a young, upper class lady from Mississippi that lost her job, her mansion and her reputation all at once. She wants to start a new life and is looking to move in with her younger sister Stella. Stella is 25 years old who married a lower class man named Stanley and they live together in New Orleans. She is pregnant with his child and he is a drunk. Unfortunately Stanley and Blanche do not get along and his mission is to ruin Blanches reputation in New Orleans also.
Blanche doesn’t like Stanley because she witnessed him beat up Stella (while she was pregnant) drunk. A character name Mitch who is attracted to Blanche comes into the picture. Sadly, Stanley researched Blanche’s past and told Mitch not to marry her. He said she was known for her sexual promiscuity. Soon enough , Mitch called it off and Blanche was drinking her feelings away. As she was home alone in the apartment, Stanley came home and raped her. However for weeks, Stella did not believe the accusation that her sister was raped.
The past and the present are intertwined in many different ways. There are conflicts between values of the old world and the new. Both Stanley and Blanche represent different aspects of the american society. Stanley has the idea of the american dream where all the men do the work and make the money for their family. A lot of people grow up wanting the american dream but it’s hard to get. In today’s economy both parents need to work in order to support their children and family. It’s sad to think that there is no such thing as the american dream anymore unless you get super lucky.
On the other hand, Blanche is stuck in the past where class and race were the focal points. She has the idea of living in a “fantasy world.” Blanche comes from the South and they were always known as the rich people who had the big pretty houses. The south always symbolized strong cultural values to Tennessee Williams, while the north was known as self-indulgent and cheap. Like I said earlier, Blanche had lost the family home, Belle Reve. Belle Reve is associated with the past, death and false illusions.
In the american dream Standley would have seen this home as beauty but it was the opposite of that. Blanche is more of a representation of the past especially in the way she dressed and acted. She always wore white clothes and had this weird fear of light which symbolizes a fear of reality. She doesn’t like coming to terms of what is in front of her and the situation. Standley represents more of the present. New Orleans is more of a modern, friendly and welcoming city. You see all different types of relationships, and sexualities. Stanley was more of a simple guy and Blanche was more poetic.