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.
They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at — Elysian Fields! (1.16)
Um…death much? "Cemeteries" is pretty much self-explanatory, but Elysian Fields are basically like heaven in ancient Greek Mythology. In other words, "death" is written all over this scenery before we even jump into much of the play. For more on how "Desire" fits in there, see "What’s Up With the Title?"
I was on the verge of — lunacy, almost! So Mr. Graves—Mr. Graves is the high school superintendent — he suggested I take a leave of absence. (1.109)
Mr. Graves, eh? Oh, Williams, we just wouldn’t put it past you. Looks like we’ve got even more death imagery, and we haven’t even left Scene One yet.
I, I, I took the blows in my face and body! All of those deaths! The long parade to the graveyard! Father, mother! Margaret, that dreadful way! So big with it, it couldn’t be put in a coffin! But had to be burned like rubbish! You just came home in time for the funerals, Stella. And funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths—not always. Sometimes their breathing is hoarse, and sometimes it rattles, and sometimes they even cry out to you, "Don’t let me go!" (1.185)
All this death – not only of Blanche’s family, but also of her former husband – seems to be largely responsible for her loss of sanity.