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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Marriage Theme

The central marriage in A Streetcar Named Desire operates on a tumultuous combination of hero-worship, aggression, sexual attraction, and a difficult class difference between husband and wife. Despite the challenges, we never doubt for a moment the intensity of love these two feel for each other. There’s something primitive or almost animal in the ferocity of their interactions – both fighting and love-making – that makes their relationship difficult for some other characters to understand. In this marriage, we definitely see traditional gender roles of a dominant husband who brings home the money and pays the bills; and the doting housewife who is responsible for making dinner, cleaning up, and raising a child.

Questions About Marriage

  1. How does Blanche’s presence change the dynamic between Stella and Stanley?
  2. Is the Kowalski marriage a healthy one?
  3. Does it seem like Blanche and Mitch’s potential marriage would be healthy?
  4. What’s the difference between Steve and Eunice’s marriage and Stella and Stanley’s? What does the upstairs couple tell us about the downstairs couple?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

There are no positive relationships between men and women in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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