Of Charms and Illusions

An analysis of the themes and characters in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire.

The paper studies Tennessee Williams’ famous play, “A Streetcar Named Desire”. It delves into the theme of dominant male patriarchy and the repressed and civilized female societal element as represented by the two main characters Blanche and Stanley.
“As to the first element, it seems clear that Blanche was testing Mitch. For what appears to be the first time in many years, she is seriously considering not a brief fling, but a real relationship. Her first marriage was destroyed in part because she did not originally understand or thoroughly know the boy she wed. She has had many flings since then, not unlike the one she suggests that Stella should have chosen over marriage to Stanley: “A man like that is someone you go out with–once–twice–three times when the devil is in you. But live with?” (Williams, 50) This time, Blanche wants to make sure it is not just Desire, but something real. She wants his respect, and to be able to respect him. This is why she withholds her attentions: “He hasn’t gotten a thing but a good night kiss, that’s all I have given him.. I want his respect. And men don’t want anything they get too easily.” (Williams, 57)”.