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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Sex Theme

Sex is essentially a destructive force in A Streetcar Named Desire, though this destruction takes a variety of forms, including literal death, physical violence, mental degradation, the sullying of a good reputation, and even financial ruin. It’s very much tied to physical aggression, both in the sexual relations between husband and wife, but also in the play’s rape scene.

Questions About Sex

  1. Is Blanche attracted to Stanley? How do you know one way or the other?
  2. Blanche says the only way to deal with a man like Stanley is to sleep with him. What does that mean? Why would sex be a way to handle aggression?
  3. Is sex a means or an end for Blanche? For Stanley?

Chew on This

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

Blanche tries to use sex to recapture her youth.

Lust is the only unifying force between Stanley and Stella.

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