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A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

by Tennessee Williams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,692801,070 (3.93)155
Tennessee Williams' classic drama studies the emotional disintegration of a Southern woman whose last chance for happiness is destroyed by her vindictive brother-in-law.
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English (75)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
yet another play about a woman whose world is colored by fantasy
  ritaer | Jun 6, 2021 |
Very impressed with this. I very rarely read plays, so it is delightful for each Scene to be a clearly defined section of space and time, and Williams’ stage directions allow you to visualise the scenery and ambience.
As the playwright Arthur Miller writes in his introduction to my Penguin edition, In Streetcar, however, the real and the lyrical were smoothly blended and emerged a unified voice.. When thinking back on the play I admire its language and structure, but when reading it, I marvelled at the seemingly simple and straightforward narrative, so well told.
The story is Blanche DuBois’s tragedy and we pity her, her personality and circumstance, depending upon our experience and temperament.
In Scene Five we understand that Blanche would like Mitch to marry her, so that she can rest and breathe quietly again. At this point she appears predatory and “depraved”, as she might put it, as she is willing to deceive Mitch to achieve marriage, and clearly does not love him, as explicitly shown by her treatment of the young man, who is a young, young, young, young - man, and who she describes as a child, envying his youth.
But then we learn why she is how she is, from her one great love, whom she married, but who committed suicide and why. How mad this made her, and when, and how society deals with this. These questions determine how we respond.
I would usually be impatient of such a passive “soft” character as Blanche, but Williams’ characterisation enabled me to get past this, so I could understand the tragedy of the famous line to the doctor Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
( )
  CarltonC | Mar 11, 2021 |
Must reading for the #MeToo generation. This play is rough; it makes The Yellow Wallpaper seem like a quaint weekend vacation. Tennessee Williams really nails the subjugation of women in a male-dominated culture, and how those women who attempt to stand-up against it or define their own roles are mercilessly destroyed. For those who think that the feminism movement is just about equal pay and workplace harassment, this play should be an eye-opener. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Dec 11, 2020 |
Such a devastating play. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
An audio production of the classic play in which Blanche DuBois goes to New Orleans to stay with her sister, Stella and Stella's husband, Stanley. Tragedy follows.

I studied this play in high school and it was lovely to revisit it in this format. This production included a brief pre-amble about the play and Tennessee Williams and I'm positive my discussions of the play in school did not include the background that Williams was gay and that his sister was committed to an institution. Fascinating context to add. ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tennessee Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Tennessee Williams' classic drama studies the emotional disintegration of a Southern woman whose last chance for happiness is destroyed by her vindictive brother-in-law.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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