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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams Essay

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Tennessee Williams is recognized as being one of America’s top playwrights during the twentieth century. His play A Streetcar Named Desire, written in 1947, tells the tale of two sisters and their struggle to find happiness. The Glass Menagerie, published in 1945, is a memory play, which profoundly impacted Williams’s career. Suddenly Last Summer, published in 1993, is a one-act play about a young girl’s horrifying experience while traveling abroad. All of these plays incorporate aspects of Williams’ own life and portray dysfunctional characters.
A Streetcar Named Desire is about Blanch Dubois a thirty year old southern belle. In the play Blanche loses her ancestral home of Belle Reve and her husband commits suicide leaving her emotionally scarred. Blanche then goes to live with her sister and her husband Stanley Kowalski, whom she finds vulgar and inappropriate. She attempts to hide from her past, but eventually the people there find out she had many affairs, even one with a student, and was forced to leave her teaching job (Marotous, 2006). At the end of the play she begins losing her mind and is sent to a mental hospital.
The play opened on December 3, 1947 and had instant success. It premiered five years after World War II and it “enfolded all the anxieties of the era in its story of perverse gentility colliding with the earthy truths of the working class.” (Hagopian, 2014) This is also why it went on to be made into a movie in 1951 with the screenplay written by Tennessee Williams and Oscar Saul.
The play connects to Williams’s life and his struggle to find satisfaction in his sexual relationships. “Throughout his life Tennessee Williams was driven from one sexual encounter to another, exactly like Blanche, and like B...


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..., J. (n.d.). "Gardens of Desire: Toward a Unified Vision of Garden District"--Joe Falocco. "Gardens of Desire: Toward a Unified Vision of Garden District"--Joe Falocco. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.tennesseewilliamsstudies.org/archives/2005/05falocco.htm
Hagopian, K. (n.d.). Film Notes -A Streetcar Named Desire. Film Notes -A Streetcar Named Desire. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/filmnotes/fns04n5.html
Pearce, E. O. (n.d.). What Is the Underlying Truth?. Utah Shakespeare Festival. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.bard.org/education/studyguides/Glass/underlying.html#.U1v4-ld5HIU
Williams, T. (1947). A streetcar named Desire: [a play.. New York: New Directions.
Williams, T. (1958). Suddenly last summer. New York: New Directions.
Williams, T. (1999). The glass menagerie. New York: New Directions.



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