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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire


by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire Theme of Society and Class

A Streetcar Named Desire deals with class differences in New Orleans during the 1940s. One point of view is that of a fading Southern belle, with outdated ideals about the socially elite and those she considers "beneath" her social rank—like second or third-generation immigrants. Contrast this with the opposing, more modern (at the time) point of view that Americans are Americans, and that immigrants are a foundation of the U.S.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. What is it about marrying a man of a different social rank that appeals so to Stella?
  2. What is Streetcar’s view of the old South and its ideals—as something romantic to be admired, or as something archaic and no longer applicable?
  3. What does Blanche find so appealing about Mitch? Does it have anything to do with social class?
  4. Where does Mitch fit socially—as someone in Blanche’s class, or someone in Stanley’s? What determines that, anyway?

Chew on This

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

Neither Stella nor Stanley takes class into consideration when regarding their relationship. They exist outside class boundaries all together.

Stella and Stanley’s attraction for each other is based solely on their class differences.

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