A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Remember in "What’s Up With The Title?" when we talk all about the connection between desire and death in A Streetcar Named Desire? If not, you should check it out. Flowers are the perfect symbol of this odd pairing of lust and destruction. To start, take a look at the end of Scene Five, when Mitch brings Blanche roses. He’s using flowers to court Blanche – desire, right? Now look at Scene Nine, when the Mexican Woman comes around selling flores para los muertos, or "flowers for the dead." We just went from desire to death in three scenes using one symbol. As if that weren’t enough, we have this lovely exchange right here:
You are as fresh as a daisy.
One that’s been picked a few days. (3.33-4)
Stella means to suggest that Blanche is attractive (desire), but Blanche feels as though she’s past her prime (death).