A Streetcar Named Desire features a gradual descent into madness, brought about by loss, depression, financial ruin, and the cruelty of others. At first, this so-called "madness" is just an attempted escape from reality – an altered self-image and a polished persona that doesn’t accurately reflect the character below. As the play progresses, however, this self-deception intensifies and deviates further and further from reality. By the play’s conclusion, the main character can no longer distinguish between her fantasies and the world around her.
A Streetcar Named Desire argues that self-delusion is necessary, and fantasy is superior to reality.