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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Analysis: Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type :

Anticipation Stage

Blanche arrives in New Orleans and meets Mitch

Mitch is the "object of desire" through which Blanche, our protagonist plot, hopes to find fulfillment. As she settles in at the Kowalski place, her budding romance is her chance for a better future.

Dream Stage

Blanche gets her hooks into Mitch

It’s clear that Mitch returns Blanche’s feelings, which means the chance of marriage and escape from her past life is definitely possible.

Frustration Stage

Stanley gets violent – and suspicious

The famous "Stelllahhhhhh!!!!" scene may be hot for Stella, but it’s definitely frustrating for Blanche, who can’t understand her sister’s desire for the aggressive Stanley. Things really start to go wrong when Stanley mentions his friend who travels through Laurel, Blanche's hometown, and heard some bad stuff about Blanche. This threatens her "dream" of marrying Mitch.

Nightmare Stage

Stanley brings the truth to light; Mitch rejects Blanche

Just when things were going well, right? Actually, things were never going well. Blanche’s entire relationship with Mitch was always founded upon lies and fantasy, which means we’ve known this moment was coming from the start.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage

Stanley rapes Blanche

The "destruction" here is not only a physical one, but mental as well. Stanley’s act of violence is basically the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and he sends Blanche over the edge. Think of Scene Eleven as the aftermath to this destruction – we see the devastating effects of the violence.

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