A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire Analysis

Literary Devices in A Streetcar Named Desire

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Blanche makes a big deal out of never being seen in direct light. She uses a paper lantern like a shield to block out the strong light of the naked bulb in the Kowalski apartment. The obvious concl...

Setting

What we know about the atmosphere of setting in Streetcar comes from Williams’s stage directions. He tells us that us that the area is "poor" but "has a raffish charm." He says the sky is "a...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author’s point of view, they don’t all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece o...

Genre

A Streetcar Named Desire is actually realism of several different varieties. First you’ve got Magical Realism, which is a generally realistic setting with some odd fantasy thrown in. In this...

Tone

What we’re getting at here in our discussion of "Tone" is Williams’s attitude toward his protagonist, Blanche DuBois. We admit that Blanche comes off as quite silly for a good chunk of...

Writing Style

Williams’s style comes across best in his stage directions, with lines like this one: "You can almost feel the warm breath of the brown river beyond the river warehouses with their faint redo...

What’s Up With the Title?

Let’s start with the literal meaning of the title. There is an actual streetcar named “Desire” that Blanche takes on her way to the Kowalskis’. She mentions it twice. First,...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

And so it was I entered the broken worldTo trace the visionary company of love, its voiceAn instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)But not for long to hold each desperate choice.– ...

What’s Up With the Ending?

The ending to A Streetcar Named Desire is all about cruel and tragic irony. Blanche is shipped off to a mental institution because she can’t deal with reality and retreats into illusion ̵...

Plot Analysis

"Meat!"Yes, that’s right – the early interactions between Stella and her husband constitute the initial situation of A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s important for us as the reader/...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Blanche arrives in New Orleans and meets MitchMitch is the "object of desire" through which Blanche, our protagonist plot, hopes to find fulfillment. As she settles in at the Kowalski place, her bu...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Blanche arrives in New Orleans, reunites with sister, and meets Stanley. Conflict seems inevitable as we get a glimpse of Stanley’s violent streak, and of course the Mitch saga begins. Stella...

Trivia

Endlessly amusing is Ned Flanders’s portrayal of Stanley in The Simpsons. It’s a musical version, and he sings out the verses in his shrill voice:"Can’t you hear me yella,You̵...

Steaminess Rating

Let’s let the tamale-vendor at the end of Scene Two sum this up for us: "RED-HOT!" Stanley, a.k.a. "the gaudy seed-bearer," is very sexual. Stella is all about the virility popping out of his...

Allusions

Edgar Allan Poe (1.93, 3.162)Edgar Allan Poe, "Ullalume" (1.93)Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?" (3.115)Nathaniel Hawthorne (3.162)Walt Whitman (3.162)One Thousand and One Arabian N...

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