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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee…
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A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

by Tennessee Williams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,083691,016 (3.92)142
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English (64)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Plot:
Blanche DuBois comes to visit her sister Stella in New Orleans. The two of them come from a family of plantation owners who have been slowly but steadily going bankrupt. Now their plantation (Belle Reve) is gone and Blanche, who has always been a nervous type, is falling apart due to her alcoholism and the fact that she can’t really deal with her growing age and fading looks. Stella is happy to see Blanche, but Stella’s husband Stanley, a factory worker, doesn’t trust Blanche or her story about how Belle Reve was lost. Blanche herself is shocked about the circumstances Stella lives in. As Blanche’s and Stanley’s worlds collide, something has got to give.

A Streetcar Named Desire is one of my absolute favorite plays. I must have read it five times already, at least. It’s been a while since I read/saw it (and I actually never read/saw it in English before now) and I’m going to see it shortly, so it was the perfect time for a re-read. And it is still absolutely awesome.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2012/06/29/re-read-a-streetcar-named-desire-tennessee-will... ( )
  kalafudra | Feb 2, 2019 |
little, but spiky and painful. it's a book that hurts for a reason, to illustrate what happens to those who are tender (their softness is blown out, of course). ( )
  livingtoast | Jan 23, 2019 |
There's a reason why this is a classic. It blew me away. WOW!!

There's a reason why this is a classic. It blew me away. WOW!!

In the forward to the 2004 edition of A Streetcar Named Desire, Arthur Miller wrote that he vividly remembered the first time he saw the play on stage, before it opened to the public on Broadway in December 1947. How could one forget when the original production featured all the players we have come to so strongly identify with the movie roles of popular culture (except that Jessica Tandy , rather than Vivien Leigh, played Blanch DuBois)?

And yet, it wasn’t the players or their acting skills that Miller commented on, but the writing itself. “On first hearing Streetcar . . . the impression was . . . of language flowing from the soul . . . but remarkably, each character’s speech seemed at the same time uncannily his own.” Miller adds that, “What Streetcar’s first production did was to plant the flag of beauty on the shores of commercial theatre.”

If you know A Streetcar Named Desire only from snatched clips or even just your friends’ impersonation of Brando’s “STELLL- AHHHHH!”, as I had, then you’ve missed the quality of this writing. But even if you can’t attend a live production of Streetcar, you can still access the beauty of this play in the written word – a slim 179-page volume that reads quickly and easily and, thanks to many school curricula, continues to be in print.

But while the reading is quick and easy, the story that unfolds is anything but. Williams’ classic play begins with Blanche DuBois’s arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche puts on airs of gentility and seems shocked and shaken by Stanley’s frequently aggressive behavior. But Blanche has a secret past that is catching up with her, and the knowledge of it in the hands of her brother-in-law wrecks her last chance at happiness. Not satisfied with that, Stanley also physically assaults Blanche, driving her over the edge of sanity.

Look at the original cast list. Find photos of Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Jessica Tandy and Karl Malden in the 1940s. Then read the play and enjoy the language. You owe it to yourself. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 24, 2018 |
I definitely should have read this in high school, because it seemed like I was the only one who didn't. I really liked this, especially Blanche. A short and sweet play that can be read pretty quickly. I don't have much to say other than I would really like the opportunity to see this play on stage. ( )
  erinla | Oct 31, 2017 |
I picked this one up because it's on the Rory Gilmore Book List. It's one of the many books Rory reads in "Gilmore Girls". I didn't know whether or not I would like it. I kind of did... but I can't really say why. It was frustrating because of the abusive relationships, but... it was interesting. ( )
  danaenicole | May 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Williams, TennesseeAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lustig, AlvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, ArthurIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, its voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.
"The Broken Tower" by Hart Crane
Dedication
First words
The exterior of a two-storey corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L&N tracks and the river.
Quotations
Stanley [bottle in hand]: Have a shot?
Blanche: No, I – I rarely touch it.
Stanley: Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often.

Stanley: I never met a woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and some of them that give themselves credit for more than they've got.

Blanche: Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

Blanche: Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the only unforgivable thing in my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty.

Blanche: They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at – Elysian Fields!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work refers to separate editions of the play. Please do not combine with omnibus editions which contain other plays also, nor with any other version that does not contain the full original text (e.g. abridged or simplified texts, movie adaptations, the opera, student guides or notes, etc.).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451167783, Mass Market Paperback)

The story of Blanche DuBois and her last grasp at happiness, and of Stanley Kowalski, the one who destroyed her chance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

I'm really sorry, Claudia. I didn't mean for this to happen. This is one practical joke that Betsy played, that really backfired.

» see all 14 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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