A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Yes, that’s where I brought my victims. […] Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers. After the death of Allan — intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty hearty with. (9.55)
Looks like we have one more complication to add to our understanding of death and desire in Streetcar. Desire seems to cause all this death, and yet Blanche turns to sex to comfort herself in the aftermath of death.
Death—I used to sit here and she used to sit over there and death was as closer as you are… We didn’t even admit we had ever heard of it.
Flores para los muertos, flores—flores…
The opposite is desire. (9.68-71)
This final line is incredibly important to understanding some key elements of A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanche here states that desire is the opposite of death – this explains her attempt at taking refuge from death through "intimacies with strangers," and why she relies so heavily on her looks in relating to others. For lots, lots more, read "What’s Up With the Title?"
You know what I shall die of? [She plucks a grape] I shall die of eating an unwashed grape one day out on the ocean. I will die—with my hand in the hand of some nice-looking ship’s doctor, a very young one with a small blond mustache and a big silver watch. […] And I’ll be buried at sea sewn up in a clean white sack and dropped overboard — at noon — in the blaze of summer — and into an ocean as blue as my first lover’s eyes! (11.69)
Blanche romanticizes even her death. And notice how this final image of mortality is saturated with desire and love….