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The Most Common Names in the U.S.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) compiles a list of the most popular baby names over the past 100 years. This represents perhaps the most complete picture of the most common names in the United States. The following list includes both male and female names — ranked from 10 to 1— as well as the most common last names based on the 2010 census.

Charles and Margaret Martinez

In 2010, 1,060,159 people in the US had the last name Martinez. This was the tenth most common last name in the country. Meanwhile, the tenth most common first names over the last 100 years have been Charles (2,144,937 or 1.23 percent of 173,916,919 male births) and Margaret (993,136 or 0.59 percent of 169,671,039 female births).

Thomas and Sarah Rodriguez

The ninth most common last name was also Hispanic. There were 1,094,924 Rodriguezes in 2010. And of all the baby boys born between 1918 and 2017, 2,174,023 have been Thomases. A total of 996,554 baby girls were named Sarah.

Joseph and Jessica Davis

Two common ‘J’ names are the eighth most popular in America: the biblical Joseph and Jessica. These aCC0unted for 2,384,205 and 1,043,436 baby names, respectively. Meanwhile, in 2010, 1,116,357 people had the last name Davis.

Richard and Susan Miller

A sum of 2,487,983 Richards amount to 1.43 percent of all baby boys born between 1918 and 2017. The 1,106,071 Susans represent 0.65 percent of the total baby girl births. As for Millers, there were 1,161,437 of these recorded in 2010.

David and Barbara Garcia

Another Hispanic last name comes in at number six. There were 1,166,120 Garcias in the 2010 census. But over the past century, there have been more than 3,557,293 Davids and over 1,410,059 Barbaras.

William and Elizabeth Jones

Love them or loathe them, the British royal family have long been the inspiration for baby names. There were 3,662,399 Williams born between 1918 and 2017 and 1,443,415 Elizabeths. Good luck keeping up with the Joneses, though; there were 1,425,470 of these in 2010.

Michael and Linda Brown

The fourth most common last name in 2010 was Brown, with 1,437,026 occurrences. Michael and Linda were the fourth most common baby names in the century before 2018. There were 4,315,462 and 1,448,097 of these, respectively.

Robert and Jennifer Williams

Robert and Jennifer are both pretty versatile names. Diminutives include Rob, Bob, Robbie, Bobby, and Jen, Jenna, Jenny and Jennie. That might be why they’re so popular. Of all baby boys born 1918-2017, 4,571,203 (2.63 percent) were called Robert, while 1,465,928 (0.86 percent) of all girls were called Jennifer. 1,625,252 people had the last name Williams in 2010.

John and Patricia Johnson

OK, so you might not find many John Johnsons; but they both take the number two spot. A total 2.64 percent of baby boys (4,594,023 born in the last century) were given the name John, and the last census recorded 1,932,812 last names as Johnson. The 1,564,163 Patricias (Pat, Patty, Trisha, Trixie) represent 0.92 percent of all female births between 1918 and 2017.

James and Mary Smith

No surprises here: Smith is by far the most common name in the USA. In the 2010 census, 2,442,977 of them were counted. James and Mary are the most common first names. But while there were just 198,931 more Jameses than Johns born 1918-2017, there were 1,829,293 more Marys than Patricias. The 3,393,456 females called Mary aCC0unted for 2 percent of all girl births.


a streetcar named desire essay intro

'A Streetcar Named Desire' Overview

A Streetcar Named Desire is a drama in twelve scenes set in a poor but charming section of New Orleans. As she moves in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley, Blanche DuBois, a woman symbolizing the manners of the old, patrician South, pits against the multi-cultural and working-class people of the neighborhood.

Plot Summary

After losing her family plantation Belle Reve to creditors, former English teacher Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski in a poor but charming neighborhood of New Orleans. Blanche and Stanley immediately start butting heads, as she is disgusted by his uncouth manners, while he thinks she is a fraud. During her stay at the Kowalski's, Blanche starts a platonic relationship with Mitch, one of Stanley’s friends, whom she deceives by pretending to be a virginal woman. Eventually, Stanley digs up dirt about Blanche, exposes her lies to Mitch, and rapes her. At the end of the play, she is to be committed to an asylum

Major Characters

Blanche Dubois. The protagonist of the play, Blanche is a fading beauty in her thirties. She still abides by the ideal of a Southern Belle

Stanley Kowalski. Stella’s husband, Stanley is a working-class man with a distinct sexual magnetism. He is brutish but has a strong marriage to his wife thanks to their sexual chemistry.

Stella Kowalski. Stella is Blanche’s younger sister, a woman of 25. Even though she was brought up in an upper-class environment, she has no problem getting along with Stanley’s circle

Eunice Hubbell. The Kowalski’s upstairs neighbor and landlady, she has a tumultuous but strong marriage to her husband.

Harold “Mitch” Mitchell. One of Stanley’s good friends, he is better-mannered than the rest of his friends and develops fondness for Blanche. 

The Mexican Woman. A blind prophet who sells flowers for the dead.

The Doctor. A kind medical professional who assists Blanche as she is taken to a mental institution

Major Themes

Homosexuality. Tennessee Williams was gay, and the topic of homosexuality is present in many of his plays. Blanche’s unraveling begins when her closeted husband commits suicide. According to many critics, Blanche's characterization matches the era's stereotypes of gay men.

Light, Purity, The Old South. The morally corrupt Blanche idolizes the old-world manners she grew up with and has an obsession with purity and virginal attributes. 

Desire. Both sisters have an unhealthy relationship with desire. After Blanche’s husband died, she took to bedding young men in a hotel, which corrupted her reputation and made her a pariah, whereas Stella is so enthralled by Stanley’s sexual prowess that she condones his physically abusive behavior.

Literary Style

With his distinctively Southern prose, author Tennessee Williams manages to differentiate his characters based on their speech. Blanche, a former English teacher, speaks in long-winded sentences full of metaphors and literary allusions, while Stanley and his fellow working class friends speak in shorter bursts.

About the Author

American playwright Tennessee Williams rose to fame at age 33 with The Glass Menagerie in 1946, one of his most notable successes alongside A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). 

a streetcar named desire essay intro

a streetcar named desire essay intro

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A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

a streetcar named desire essay intro

Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, is a playwright that posses multiple themes and motifs. Desire is obviously the central theme of the play, hence the name, A Streetcar Named Desire. Frequently, throughout the play each character seems to be driven by some form of desire; the following quotes will exam the central idea of, desire. the most prominent character in the play that follows their desire is Blanche. Blanche desperately tries to deny her desires; however, desire is the emotion that motivates and drives her, quite literally in fact, when her desire causes her to be driven out of town. Blanche cannot figure out the right way of handling her feelings; she is constantly either restraining or chasing her desire. She countlessly…

The idealistic view of pure true love that Blanche harbours is in stark contrast to Stella’s animalistic urges of desire and this underlying theme of love in conflict with desire is present throughout the play. ‘Haven’t you ever ridden that streetcar?’ Stella is freely admitting to being driven purely by desire and such a confession brings to light her dependency on these sexual urges and Stanley in a very unhealthy way. This is portrayed through her amusement and dismissal of Stanley’s violent…

Music In A Streetcar Named Desire

Stoleru Ioana – Ancuța English A, 3rd year The Function of Music in “A Streetcar Named Desire” Music has always played an important role in arts, but when found in literature, it can either function as a means of characterization (speaking volumes about certain characters) or as a mood setter, helping the reader adjust to the atmosphere of the literary work. “Music is so much a part of our lives that its presence in literature can help readers relate to fictional situations and characters.”…

A Streetcar Named Desire Analysis

The play, written by Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” is rife with illusion and misdirection of character development. The protagonist of the story, Blanche Dubois is on the surface the epitome of a southern lady. Due to the loss of the ancestral home, Belle Reve in Laurel she is reduced to seeking shelter with her sister Stella and husband Stanley who live in an impoverished section of New Orleans. Blanche superficially may represent a delicate well-bred southern lady, but behind…

Streetcar Named Desire Analysis

StreetCar Named Desire is a realist play written by Tennessee Williams in 1947. The play is set in New Orleans after the second world war. StreetCar Named desire can be interpreted in many different ways as it has several themes which are open ended. Some of the main themes in StreetCar Named Desire are the clash between the two world, New America vs. Old America, Conflict between Classes. Much of the story, characters were found in Williams’s drama was mined from the playwright’s own life.…

Women In A Streetcar Named Desire

Within the last hundred years, American women were given the right to vote. It was understood that a woman was more than the property of the male authorities in her life. She had just as much right to have her voice heard. Moreover, women now have the opportunity to make a living for themselves; they do not have to be dependent on men for survival. Society began to realize that women were capable of being more than a homemaker; that the idea of a woman wanting more from life than just being a…

Sympathy In A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire is provocative and goes in depth with the lives of his poor creatures. The looming theme throughout the story is the tragedy and cruelty that is experienced or caused by those in Williams’ Elysian Fields. Although I feel a general sympathy for many of the characters and their circumstances, Blanche’s hardships are clearly outlined and plentiful, leading to a deep sympathy for her. Tennessee Williams’ makes Blanche’s unwarranted, selfish and…

Sexuality In A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire has often been referred to as an important step in the history of cinema. The film, based on the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams, was a very controversial topic when it was filmed. The film had taboo ideas that were introduced, for example, domestic violence, female sexuality and rape. This essay will focus on the female sexuality aspect, specifically focusing on how societies expectations are influencing sexuality during the filming and how the characters…

Masculinity In A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams wrote his play A Streetcar Named Desire in a time where women were heavily oppressed by the patriarchal society in which they lived. While men were seen as the superior gender, women were constantly undermined and expected to stay at home to raise their family rather than go out and pursue their own jobs or independent lifestyles. Throughout the play, the reader can observe the downfall of a character like Blanche DuBois who was nothing like the idealistic conservative female…

Insecurities In A Streetcar Named Desire

“A Streetcar named Desire” is a compelling play by Tennessee Williams in which the central character is insecure and flawed. The play is set in New Orleans in the 1940s, Blanche Dubois arrives at her sisters house after losing the family home through her promiscuous past. William makes Blanches insecurities clear through his use of characterisation, conflict, symbolism, key scenes and staging. Blanche's entire life has been affected by a tragic event. At sixteen she married to a boy called…

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Essays on A Streetcar Named Desire

Reality versus illusion in the streetcar named desire.

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The Theme of Abandonment and Brutality in a Streetcar Named Desire

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December 3, 1947, Tennessee Williams

Play; Southern Gothic

The French Quarter and Downtown New Orleans

Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Stanley Kowalski, Harold "Mitch" Mitchell

1. Vlasopolos, A. (1986). Authorizing History: Victimization in" A Streetcar Named Desire". Theatre Journal, 38(3), 322-338. 2. Corrigan, M. A. (1976). Realism and Theatricalism in A Streetcar Named Desire. Modern Drama, 19(4), 385-396. 3. Quirino, L. (1983). The Cards Indicate a Voyage on'A Streetcar Named Desire'. Contemporary Literary Criticism, 30. 4. Corrigan, M. A. (2019). Realism and Theatricalism in A Streetcar Named Desire. In Essays on Modern American Drama (pp. 27-38). University of Toronto Press. 5. Van Duyvenbode, R. (2001). Darkness Made Visible: Miscegenation, Masquerade and the Signified Racial Other in Tennessee Williams' Baby Doll and A Streetcar Named Desire. Journal of American Studies, 35(2), 203-215. 6. Cahir, L. C. (1994). The Artful Rerouting of A Streetcar Named Desire. Literature/Film Quarterly, 22(2), 72. 7. Silvio, J. R. (2002). A Streetcar Named Desire—Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 30(1), 135-144. 8. Griffies, W. S. (2007). A streetcar named desire and tennessee Williams' object‐relational conflicts. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4(2), 110-127. 9. Shackelford, D. (2000). Is There a Gay Man in This Text?: Subverting the Closet in A Streetcar Named Desire. In Literature and Homosexuality (pp. 135-159). Brill.

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a streetcar named desire essay intro

A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

a streetcar named desire essay intro

A Streetcar Named Desire

The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams examines the theme of both death and desire. Williams presents the only options of life as being one of these two options. Either you choose to figuratively die or you succumb to your desires. You must make to choice and life and battle death and go towards desire. These themes are antitheses of one another and are often times intertwined together. Williams uses the characters actions and thoughts as well as contrasts between them to develop

Desire In Streetcar Named Desire

Philip C. Kolin, an English critic and author, hailed Streetcar as: “the most creative new play….the one that reveals the most talent, the one that attempts the most truth. Not surprisingly, Streetcar quickly became a staple on the world stage, one of the major theatrical experiences and experiments of the twentieth century” (Kolin2). Streetcar Named Desire was published just after World War II. When the play came out, the country had just emerged from the war after struggling through the Great Depression

Streetcar Named Desire

My critical review will be over the 1951 drama film, A Streetcar Named Desire, which is an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s 1947 play. The original play received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. The dramatic film was directed by Elia Kazan. My review will comment on the movie as a whole, as well as touch on the quality of acting element of realism that was utilized. First off, in the movie, Blanche DuBois comes to New Orleans and is shocked by how different everything is from where she is

resonate with audiences today. The play “Street Car Named Desire” illustrates Williams’ harsh upbringings and complex relationships that symbolise the reality of the world we live in. This is evident through the themes of denial of reality, effects of brutality and human desire. These themes are conveyed through the relationships of Stella and Blanche’s sisterly relationship, Stanley’s brutality towards others and characters all in need for desire. Paragraph one Throughout the play Stella and Blanche’s

Streetcar and Students A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is an appropriate study for grade 12 students as it highlights one’s need to face reality. In addition, the play shows that the need to face reality inherently affects one's relationship with the world. It also exemplifies how the past has a way of coming back with more fight and fury. For instance, and perhaps most powerfully, this play addresses heavy topics such as abuse and trauma, though most interestingly how the characters

Streetcar Named Desire Essay: Themes in A Streetcar Named Desire

Themes in A Streetcar Named Desire   A Streetcar Named Desire is a pessimistic work that is the “culmination of a view of life in which evil, or at least undiminished insensitivity, conquers throughout no matter what the protagonistic forces do”(Szeliski 69).  In other words, sensitive individuals all meet a similar fate-crushed under the heels of those who lack sensitivity. This play is about Blanche DuBois; therefore, the main themes of the drama concern her directly. In Blanche is seen

Similarities Between A Streetcar Named Desire And A Streetcar Named Desire

era of A Streetcar Named Desire and Their Eyes Were Watching God, they are very different. Although both works of literature focus on the theme of desire, the authors deal with this topic quite differently. For example, Blanche continues to rely on and chase after men which only leads to her unhappiness and insanity; whereas, Janie learns to control her desire as she goes through her long journey of self-discovery and new-found independence. Therefore, despite the similar theme of desire, both characters

For my final paper, I am going to rewrite a paper that I wrote for my AP Literature and Composition class about the role of light and dark in the play A Streetcar Named Desire. I have already procured another copy of the primary text. I bought the play off of Amazon last week and received it in the mail. For this assignment, I will read the play and take notes of when the use of light or dark occurs. Although I am not entirely certain what my thesis will be, as I have not reread the primary text

Sexual Desire In A Streetcar Named Desire

Sexual Desire in A Streetcar Named Desire From the time that the streetcar first rattles through town, it is clear that the theme of desire is a prominent feature in A Streetcar Named Desire. The themes of lust and sexuality are present mainly in three major characters: Stanley, Stella, and Blanche. Blanche’s interactions with men and her views of herself revolve around her value as a sexual object; while Stella allows Stanley’s violence and animalistic nature because of their sex life. Early

A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams was born as Thomas Lanier Williams on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. He is the son of Cornelius Coffin Williams and Edwina Dakin Williams. As he grew up, he heard stories about the volunteer work of his father as well as the forty-five men his mother dated before she finally decided to settle down (Forman 1). His parents separated in 1909 before his older sister Rose was born. The separation was caused by Cornelius’ problems with womanizing

Tennessee Williams’ main theme for A Street Car Named Desire is that the adaption and integration the relationship between Blanche and Stella is important and its function is apparent: Tennessee establishes a contrast between the two sisters. The two were born into the same life style but now live very different lives. For example, in scene One when Stella says that “The best I could do was make my own living, Blanche”(2157), Williams invites his audience to interpret the social shift which Stella

Analysis Of ' A Streetcar Named Desire '

Practice Essay: Emilia Kelly The two texts of Enduring Love and A Streetcar named Desire show privilege of one way of perceiving the world over the other in their conclusions. Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love, shows favour of Joe’s scientific and rational view but also demonstrates that it is flawed. Similarly, Tennessee Williams shows that realism in inevitable but is not always desirable in the play A Streetcar Names Desire. Both texts explore explore the responses of their protagonists of a crisis

Fantasy In 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

for various people. Fantasy is a two-sided sword that can serve as both an aid and a hindrance for people attempting to cope with reality because of its capability of providing an escape and a feeling of hope. Tennessee Williams story, A Streetcar Named Desire, the protagonist, Blanche, is struggling with the acceptance of her financial crisis and the apparent downfall

A Streetcar Named Desire Symbolism

What do you think about when you hear A Streetcar Named Desire? When Tennessee Williams was 28, he moved to New Orleans, where he changed his name and revamped his lifestyle, soaking up the city life that would inspire his work, most notably the later play, A Streetcar Named Desire. ("Tennessee Williams Biography"). William won his first Pulitzer Prize for this play. The play takes place in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the late 1940s. This tragic play revolves around the lives

Streetcar Named Desire Foil

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a strategically written masterpiece with a plethora of themes and literary devices establishing it as one of the greatest literary works of its time. Not unlike most literary works, Williams uses many minor characters to emphasize the characteristics and qualities of major characters. This technique is known as a foil. An example of this relationship would be Stanley, husband of Stella, and Steve, husband of Eunice. These two couples live in a small

Streetcar Named Desire Symbolism

Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar Named Desire” relies heavily on the setting and the time period to create and carry to play. Williams uses events and influences from the time period to develop his characters and the conflicts presented to them. Using the characteristic of New Orleans and America in 1947, Williams detailedly interpreted the surrounds not only for visual but symbolic meaning within his characters and their actions through the setting. This symbolism within his stories drive deeper

A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary

A Streetcar Named Desire starts with Blanche arriving at her sisters, Stella’s apartment in New Orleans. She had arrived with all her belongs and some bad news. She had lost the Belle Reve, which was their families’ mansion. When Stanley and Blanche meet, it’s an automatic unsettling relationship between the two. Stanley thinks that she cheated Stella with the share of Bella Reve. Their relationship gets worse when Stanley gets too drunk while playing poker and beats Stella. This same night, Blanche

What Is A Streetcar Named Desire

A streetcar Named Desire is a play written bij Tennessee Williams in 1947. The play received the Pulitzer Price for Drama in 1948. First of all, it is something new to read a play. It is not like a normal story, because I found it quite more difficult. This because there are more short story in between the whole play. After losing her ancestral mansion, her job and her reputation in her hometwon of Laurel, Mississippi, Blanche DuBois, an aging Southern debutante, arrives at het sisters’s home

Theme Of Desire In A Streetcar Named Desire

In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche’s character believes that the opposite of death is desire. Throughout the play Blanche fills her desires in order to escape from the death of people and things that surround her. Williams uses Blanche to further develop the theme because she copes with death by filling her desires, which slowly results in the self-destruction of her character. Although the theme is mostly developed from Blanche’s character, Stella, Stanley, and Blanche’s

Streetcar Named Desire Reality

Question #1 In class Essay In Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire, there are many instances where Blanche, one of the main protagonists, uses illusions in an attempt to escape reality; her relationship with Allan, her relationship within herself and her relationship with Mitch. The idea of illusion and reality seems to bring on the idea that Blanche wants to escape her own world and be someone else, we see her do this by lying any chance she get’s if it makes her look good. Blanche

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A Streetcar Named Desire Essays

The importance of illusion and fantasy in a street car named desire.

An Illusion is a “false illustration of something, a deceptive impression, or a false belief” ( Fantasy is completely a normative thought especially in children, it allows one to imagine what an outcome could be. In contrast, when illusion and fantasy are associated with an adult character, it portrays insanity and madness. Tennessee Williams portrays illusion and fantasy to show as struggles that a character accepts to deceive themselves of their acceptance and innocence of reality. In his play A […]

The Symbol of Light in a Streetcar Named Desire

What is the significance of the symbol of light throughout A Streetcar Named Desire? What objects are used to illustrate the significance of light? Why does Blanche want to avoid it?Where does desire lead to in the play? The symbol of light in A Streetcar Named Desire is significant because it is used to highlight many different parts of the poem. One of the main objects used to illustrate the significance of light is the paper latern because the paper […]

What a Streetcar Named Desire Lost in the Film

Many critics believe the film adaption of A Streetcar Named Desire was a perfect translation of the play and gives the full meaning of Tennessee Williams’ vision. However, due to the Motion Picture Production Code, important plot points are censored from the film causing it to lose some of the meaning and essence of the story. Some scenes were rewritten and some were cut out completely. In the end this creates two different stories with many similarities, but ultimately different […]

Analysis “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams

In the play, Streetcar Named Desire the author Tennesse Williams used different scenes in the play to make one think was the climax. Blanche Dubois moves to New Orleans to somehow escape her past but is challenged with more disputes from her brother in law Stanley Kowalski. Several people who read or watch the play would think different incidents in the play identify the climax. The incident indicating the climax could be when Blanche arrived in New Orleans, or when […]

Comparison between “Death of a Salesman”, “Oedipus Rex”, and “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Both “Oedipus Rex,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Death Of A Salesman” have scenes where a character’s past is revealed, whether it is to other characters or the audience (Oedipus’ parentage, Blanche’s past, or Willy’s affair). This overall foreshadows that they cannot fully escape their past, whether it is an eventual surfacing (“A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Death of a Salesman”) or an unexpected revelation (Oedipus Rex). This is linked to the theme of the inevitability of fate. There are […]

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The Tragedies of Lies

In a Streetcar Named Desire, Southern dramatist from Tennessee Williams, displays the issues after the two wars and the Depression. Although the play is arranged in the South yet the convincing way in which he gives topics makes it rather all inclusive. A Streetcar Named Desire has one pronounced main character Blanche DuBois that is very extraordinary. She attempts to conceal her very own weaknesses yet in an alternate manner and endeavor to dispose of her inward and furthermore external […]

Symbolism in a Streetcar Named Desire

In literature, symbolism is used to produce an impact, which it accomplishes by attaching additional meaning to an action object,or name. Symbolism takes something that is usually concrete and associates or affixes it to something else in order to give it a new and significant meaning. Symbolism can take many forms, including: A figure of speech where an object, person, or situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning. The actions of a character, word, action, or event that […]

Essay about “A Streetcar Named Desire”

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” is a play written by Tennessee Williams. It is about a teacher, Blanche Dubois arriving to New Orlean’s, Louisiana to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley after living in laurel her whole life. Blanche has lost their family inheritance a mansion “Belle Reve ” it was repossessed by the bank when blanche could not keep up with the payments. Throughout the play, we see how Blanche lies about who she is to hide […]

“A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams

The University of Illinois at Chicago Theatre presented a play named by A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. The play was directed by Directed by one the the UIC faculty member Derrick Sanders. It is a classic play, about poetry foundation is a free scholarly association focused on a vivacious presence for verse in our way of life, and is ideally based on here in Chicago. This play is about the school teacher, Blanche Dubois. She has lost her […]

Reflection Paper : a Streetcar Named Desire

The Streetcar Named Desire is a play that greatly influenced history in America. This play was highly controversial in the topics and ideas presented by Tennessee Williams. This play was set in New Orleans in 1947, the same year in which it was written. During this time period women were still deemed inferior to men and stepping out of gender roles was still looked down upon. This era was also highly controversial in respect to class and racial boundaries. In […]

1900s Plays by Susan Glaspell

“During the spring semester, the class was assigned reading two dramas. The dramas were Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, and A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. Both of these plays serve as a great example of the evolving changes in the role and treatment of women over time. The plays, Trifles, and A Streetcar Named Desire were set in the early 190s. During these times, women were confined to the home and had been given the traditional roles of being […]

Misogyny in American Culture – Examples

Misogyny is deeply embedded in American culture, as the value seems to lie on the man, and not the woman. A marriage, housewife, and mother are instilled into women as what they should aspire to have and to be. The patriarch obtains male dominance and power over his spouse, often uncaring of her emotions or wellbeing. Any woman who deviates from her ‘duties’, immediately receives criticism. This tale, which has been told throughout history over and over again, is asserted […]

A Streetcar Named Desire: a Tragic Hero

Introduction Tennessee Williams, also known as Thomas Lanier Williams, was an American play writer. He is considered among the three foremost playwrights of the 20th century. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner. Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. After college, he moved to New Orleans, a city that would inspire much of his writing. Tennessee Williams wrote his play “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1947. This was a period of rebuild after World War II. […]

Classical Tragedy in Streetcar Named Desire

“In 1947 play, Tennessee Williams created A Streetcar Named Desire using elements from classical tragedy. Blanche Dubois is the tragic heroine due to the “fatal flaw” of her character—self-deception. No matter how firmly she refuses to accept reality, she will eventually have to face its harsh consequences—her tragic downfall to the asylum. Blanche is from Dubois family in Belle Reve, which represents the upper class. This setting reflects a common characteristic of the tragic hero in classical tragedy, who is […]

Run or Stay: a Streetcar Named Desire

Situations that may be difficult to one person may not compare to the mindset of another. Circumstances and environment shape the background of the character and how they decide what direction will lead them to their desires. The two sisters Blanche and Stella, in A Streetcar Named Desire, chose contrasting paths after their childhood in Belle Reve, Mississippi. Blanche stayed at their family estate while Stella decided to leave and move to New Orleans. After each made their decisions they […]

To Leave, or not to Leave

One critic has said that “The very beginning of the play mars Blanche as a scarlet-lettered woman, a recognizable and uninvited outcast, whose indiscrete sexual behavior distorts her image of a teacher as a “[custodian] of culture” (Gencheva 32). This essay will focus on the obvious dependance on men between both Blanche and Stella and the perplexing relationship between both Blanche and Stanley throughout Williams play. Within A Streetcar Named Desire, there is a distinct, reoccurring critique of the restrictions […]

Play a Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

In the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, the two characters Stanley and Blanche, have opposite personalities that cause conflict between them. Stanley’s background is described as carelessness and without manners. Although, Blanche’s is the opposite, her background is more prestige as she stood out more. They both have wants in life, and they go through difficulties trying to achieve their desires. Stanley and Blanche affect each other in multiple ways, and use Stella for their own purposes […]

A Streetcar Named Desire Atmospheres

“The south of the United States of America as a setting provides diverse symbols to the reader in Tennessee’s Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. In the 1940s, the southern region of America was generally characterized as racist, poor, and soulful. The influence of gender, race, culture, and Williams’s personal life contributes to modeling the mood, tone, and actions within the play. “Each of Williams’s work challenges readers perception of style, structure, society, and the meaning of literature, drama, theater, humanity, […]

The Streetcar Named Desire: Symbols, Ideas, Conflicts

“The Streetcar Named Desire is a play that was written by Tennessee Williams in the year 1947; the presentations in the play happens in Orleans and can be studied to being occurred between May and September, and it revolves around the conflict between Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski: in the play, lower class and upper class are both associated with different meanings, for example, the upper class is associated with intellectual strength; this paper intends to provide an analysis based […]

A Streetcar Named Desire Themes

“The theme of A Streetcar Named Desire is driven on emotional fantasies and how they can cloud the picture of reality as we notice Blanche living in her fairytale world that ends up being a fugazy. It also is about the relationship of sex and death and how Blanche has had to deal with the death of her lover and she is scared of losing her beauty, so she tends to go after younger men. The play was set in […]

Intriguing Play that Shows the Flaws that each Character Conveys as the Story Unfolds

“Lastly, all of these elements added up to create an emotion filled story that addresses social issues during his time period through the flaws of the character’s personalities and their actions. The author creates an intriguing play that shows the flaws that each character conveys as the story unfolds, provides us with an insight into a variety of social issues, and effectively uses writing elements to move the audience. The audience begins to catch on how each character is different […]

The Physical and Metaphorical Use of Light

The Physical and Metaphorical Use of Light: Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Light is “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible” (Merriam Webster). Just like when light is shown upon an object in the darkness, it becomes visible, if someone does not desire to be seen or observable, they will try their best to stay in the darkness. In this way darkness can be a metaphor for one to hide from the detrimental decisions they […]

Comparing Willy Loman and Blanche Dubois

The character Blanche in Tennessee Williams’s, A Streetcar Named Desire, is centered around fantasies and illusions. Blanche continuously, throws a smoke screen to hide who she really is. Her high maintenance, elegant clothing, and chic accessories contributes to appearing as if she is from the elite. However, in reality she has nothing and nowhere to go. Similarly, Willy in Arthur Miller’s, Death of a Salesman is centered around fantasies and illusions. Willy creates illusions to stand between him and his […]

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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Mini Essays

What does Williams’s depiction of Blanche and Stanley’s lives say about desire?

As its title indicates, A Streetcar Named Desire explores the destinations to which desire leads. In following their respective desires, Blanche and Stanley end up in very different places. Blanche is the victim of a culture that has unhealthily repressed its connection to primal and natural urges. Blanche’s culture also forbids love to cross boundaries of class, race, and “normal” gender relationships. This means that, for Blanche, all but a narrow realm of sex is illicit, demonized, and taboo. The suppressed desire of Blanche and her forebears erupted from time to time in “epic fornications.” Blanche’s ancestors paid for their lust with their wealth, and Blanche pays with her sanity.

The interclass bond between Stanley and Stella, on the other hand, is animal and spiritual rather than intellectual or practical. Blanche cannot understand why her sister would enter into such a rough-and-tumble union, because Blanche has never reconciled her genteel identity with her own profound desire. The divide between her aristocratic sense of self and the “animal” urges that have at times controlled her is too great. Instead, Blanche invents a reality that conveniently ignores her own sexuality, her own vitality. She knows that a streetcar named Desire brought her to her present predicament, but intellectually she separates that desire from herself.

Williams advocates a moderate approach to the indulgence of desires. Desire is a fact of life and a driving force in the lives of Williams’s characters. Though Stanley, a rapist and wife beater, is no one’s prototype for the perfect man, Blanche’s denial of her desire, which leads her to hit on young boys, is equally dangerous.

The plot of A Streetcar Named Desire is driven by the dueling personalities of Blanche and Stanley. What are the sources of their animosity toward one another?

The most obvious difference between Blanche and Stanley is one of social background. Whereas Blanche comes from an old Southern family and was raised to see herself as socially elite, Stanley comes from an immigrant family and is a proud member of the working class. They meet one another in the socially turbulent postwar period in New Orleans, one of America’s most diverse cities. Each represents values that are antagonistic to the other’s chance at success in the modern world.

Within the play, Stella’s loyalty serves as a symbol of that societal success. Blanche attempts to convince Stella to leave Stanley because she was born for better society and values, while Stanley keeps Stella in his grasp through his unpretentious, powerful sexual attraction. The basic differences in Blanche’s and Stanley’s social stations and relationship to Stella expand into larger issues that make compromise impossible.

Blanche and Stanley are polar opposites in several respects. Blanche clearly represents the world of fantasy. As she admits to Mitch, she wants to misrepresent things, and she wants things misrepresented to her. She lives for how things ought to be, not for how they are. She prefers magic and shadows to facing facts in bright light. Stanley, on the other hand, is a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase kind of guy. He looks for joy in life, and where he finds it, he celebrates it. But, as he says, he expects people to lay their cards on the table. He has no patience for idle chit-chat, social compliments, fools, and frauds.

Blanche repeatedly refers to Stanley and his world as brutish, primitive, apelike, rough, and uncivilized. Stanley finds this sort of superiority offensive and says so, but there is something primal and brutish about Stanley. By contrast, Blanche represents civilization on the decline. She speaks vaguely of art, music, and poetry as proof of progress, but reveals little true knowledge. Blanche does not give Stanley credit for any higher feelings, but Stanley dislikes Blanche because of her unwillingness to reconcile herself to her own “lower” feelings.

A Streetcar Named Desire can be described as an elegy, or poetic expression of mourning, for an Old South that died in the first part of the twentieth century. Expand on this description.

The story of the DuBois and Kowalski families depicts the evolving society of the South over the first half of the twentieth century. The DuBois clan, embodied in the play by Blanche, represents the genteel society of the Southern plantation owners that presided through the nineteenth century. Stanley Kowalski, the son of Polish immigrants, descends from new Southerners. He works in a factory and is therefore engaged in the industrialization of the South, which contributed to the demise of the agrarian society in which Blanche and Stella were raised. The play demonstrates that Stanley is well adapted for survival in the New South, represented by the diverse city of New Orleans, while Blanche is unable to survive in the new society.

Blanche and Stella are remnants of Southern aristocracy’s decadence. The family’s material resources have been swallowed up, and all that remain are its manners and pretensions. Blanche deludes herself and imagines she lives in a world in which manners and pretensions are still relevant. Stella, however, has turned her back on her ancestors and married someone who would have been considered below her station by her own people. Stanley is new blood, for a new South in transition. But Williams portrays Stanley as possessing a fare share of brutality, suggesting that the changing world in which Stanley fits so perfectly is not necessarily a kind one. The struggle for survival has replaced gentility, and Blanche is an inevitable loser in this struggle.

The events of the play’s conclusion represent the death of the Old South. Unable to cope or to find a way to support herself since the loss of Belle Reve, Blanche goes mad and departs from reality. Stella sustains herself through her marriage and sexual union with Stanley. Stella and Stanley’s newborn child, a mixture of immigrant American and Southern American heritage, represents the South’s future.

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Revision notes and example essays on the edexcel a level english literature syllabus (2015), sample essay- blanche’s introduction in a streetcar named desire.

Recently in class, I have been studying the opening of A Streetcar Named Desire and how it sets up themes and motifs that are escalated in the rest of the play. Here is an essay I wrote on Blanche’s character at the start of the play with the assessment objectives highlighted 🙂 

How is the character of Blanche Dubois presented by Williams in the play’s opening scenes? 

A01 A02 A03

Williams presents the wealthy southern belle Blanche Dubois through the metaphor of a moth within the opening scenes of the play. Blanche’s delicate beauty portrays a fragile femininity which foreshadows her own deterioration because of her own desire heightened by the setting of New Orleans. Williams emphasises this split personality within Blanche’s character as she attempts to protect her refined reputation despite her own instability; her appearance of superiority is, in reality, tarnished by symptoms of her desire exposed as her weakness that become more prominent throughout her introduction.

At the beginning of Scene one, Williams instantly presents the incongruous character of Blanche as a symbol of fragile femininity in juxtaposition to the decaying backdrop of New Orleans . In stage directions,   Williams portrays Blanche with ‘delicate beauty’ and as being draped in ‘white’ evoking images of purity and fragility within her character . This, however, juxtaposes the ‘weathered’ and ‘warm’ depiction of New Orleans, in comparison to this clinical white , emphasising the significance of Blanche’s entrance as she represents the traditional ‘pure’ values of the Deep South . Moreover, the fragility in Blanche’s pure appearance is tainted by Williams’ metaphor of her ‘moth-like’ character ; insinuates a naivety beneath her regal appearance as, similar to moths, she is foreshadowed to be led by attraction . This parallel is further expressed in the setting, in dramatic irony, as Blanche mentions to have taken a ‘streetcar named desire’ to ‘one called cemeteries’ . This concept of desire linking to death, symbolised by the destination ‘cemeteries’ , foreshadows to the audience that her fate at the end of the play is already set to be a tragedy due to her own uncontrollable desire . This notion is further implied with the metaphor of a moth as it symbolises Blanche’s own attraction to danger that is presented in the ‘broken world’ of New Orleans foreshadowed earlier in the epigraph ; the adjective ‘broken’ already suggesting to the audience an instability within this setting to follow later on in the play. These hints of Blanche’s promiscuous character are also highlighted through a light motif as Williams emphasises this concept of exposure light inflicts ; an example of this being Blanche’s hysterical complaints of being looked at in a ‘merciless glare!’ The adjective ‘merciless’ portrays Blanche’s own vision of herself as the victim of her own narrative – in a ‘purposefully’ claustrophobic apartment- while also presenting this vulnerable aspect to her character that conflicts with the ‘perfect’ appearance she struggles to maintain . This is accompanied by a sudden outburst of exclamatives at Stella’s entrance suggesting an overcompensation of hysteria to disguise her own weakness conveying an ambiguity to her characters’ stability. Therefore, Williams presents a fragility in Blanche’s character portrayed by a weakness in desire intensified by the risqué backdrop of New Orleans.

Williams also presents a split personality within Blanche’s unstable character with implications at a more untrustworthy and manipulative woman beneath her ‘pure’ appearance . A darker side to Blanche’s character is portrayed within her reliance on alcohol escapism as, when alone with the audience as the only witness, she ‘springs up’ and ‘tosses (a glass of whiskey) down’ . The verbs convey an urgent need for drinking in stressful situations while ‘tosses’ suggests that Blanche’s character is less demure and refined than previously displayed to the audience . Williams further implies this weakness for her desires, in this case alcohol, as Blanche lies to her own sister claiming that, after a second drink, ‘one is (her) limit’. This dramatic irony works to convey to the audience an untrustworthy aspect to Blanche’s character that is foreshadowed to be amplified as the play continues; a hypocrisy can be interpreted from this as despite Blanche deriding Stella for choosing to live a life in ‘poverty’ Blanche is equally as unrefined as driven by her desperation and desire . The relationship between her sister- Stella- and Blanche is implied by Williams to be founded on intimidation with Blanche overpowering Stella with her dominance in dialogue . Imperatives yelled from Blanche to Stella portray a sense of authority within their relationship which can also be viewed as used to manipulate, and intimidate, her sister into control and doing her will which foreshadows a darker usage of this power over her later on in the play to the audience . Williams also presents an instability within Blanche’s character through her sporadic shifts in emotion and topics of conversation; an example of this being the shift from her asking Stella to ‘look at (her) figure’ to ‘the summer (their) dad died and (she) left’. This sudden shift from vanity to accusation portrays to the audience the manipulation Blanche is capable of as she blames her own insecurities on her younger sister and therefore suggests further instances of this power play in the rest of the play . Overall, Williams presents an instability and split personality within Blanche’s character that impacts her relationships and explores a more desperate reality to her that is incongruous to her Southern Belle appearance within the opening scenes.

I cannot promise this is perfect but I hope it helps you add more detail to your own essays. Feel free to comment with your own thoughts or email us @ [email protected] I’d love to hear your opinions or answer your questions!

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5 thoughts on “ sample essay- blanche’s introduction in a streetcar named desire ”.

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Wonderful, thank you! Just discovered your brilliant site. Would you be willing/have you already written any comparisons between Streetcar and The Handmaid’s Tale? I’ve just started the course and would really benefit from your expertise.

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Thank you! Unfortunately comparing Streetcar and Handmaid’s tale is not within our specification but you could look at comparing both of their portrayals of masculinity and femininity. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

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Hello, your website is amazing and so useful! And I was wondering if you have anything on Hamlet as I can’t find it anywhere?

Hiya, I’m sorry but we don’t do Hamlet as part of our specification so we don’t have anything on it – thank you!

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Introduction to A Streetcar Named Desire

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Explore the methods used by Williams in the first two scenes of the play to introduce his audience to the main themes of the play.

Within the fist two scenes of ‘A Streetcar named Desire’ Tennessee Williams goes into extreme detail on setting, music within background and dialogues by the main characters. The reason for this is because he wishes to introduce the main themes in the play in the beginning.

Within the first scene Williams goes into detail with the stage directions to describe exactly how the opening scene should be, the reason for this is because Williams wanted the play to be set exactly the same away in which he imagined it to be.

Williams uses the effect of the ‘blue piano’, which then sets the emotions, and feelings of life of the characters within the first scene. Another method that Williams uses to highlight themes is the lighting. Within the first Stage direction he describes the sky to be bright to show the dim white building in a peculiar tender blue, which gracefully highlights the atmosphere of decay within the street.


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This shows a Theme of decay, which could link to the decaying of families, and societies, which Blanche struggles to grasp and understand. In the first scene both sister become reunited as Blanche is supposedly visiting her younger sister Stella. “They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at-Elysian Fields!” Elysian Fields has two meanings firstly the street that Stanley and Stella live on and also known within Greek mythology as the land of the dead, these then link together because Elysian Fields is not Blanche’s idea of heaven.

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This could then allow the audience to see a possible theme of Setting and Place.

Another theme that is found within the first scenes would be Lies. Immediately we notice that Blanche uses lying to cover up the truth so that the character seems to have a sense of purity and morality. The first lie is seen when Blanche questions why Stella hasn’t asked about her job at the school, Blanche tests Stella to see if she has heard any gossip from the south, ‘You haven’t asked me how I happened to get away from school’ and ‘You thought I’d been fired?.

Blanche begins to explain the reason for her having the time to take the trip to New Orleans, as she explains we can see that she becomes more nervous trying to convince Stella with the lie, we see this through Williams stage directions, which highlight her nerves such as ‘She drinks quickly’ and ‘ Nervously tamping cigarette’. Another lie made by Blanche is about the liquor, ‘No, one’s my limit’ we know that Blanche has already had a glass of Whisky and then pretends that she ‘Rarely touches the stuff” then she has a glass with her sister in celebration and then demands another small amount to ‘put the stopper on’ when she find out about Stella’s new life and what she left Belle Reve for.

Within the second scene a key event occurs, this is when Stanley investigates the truth about Belle Reve. This event first starts out by Stanley comparing Blanche’s lifestyle with Stella’s “Pearls! Ropes of them! …Where are your Pearls and Gold bracelets?” Stanley tries to prove to Stella that Blanches teachers pay could never fund such expensive jewels. Stanley tries to imply that Belle Reve was not lost but sold. But Stanley isn’t doing this for his wife; he wants to find the part of the fortune that belongs to him, William gives evidence of this when Stanley mentions the ‘Napoleonic Code… what belongs to wife belongs to the husband’.

This also emphasises the lifestyle in which Stanley was brought up in compared to Blanche and Stella’s upbringing when Stanley finds Blanche costume jewelry ‘Diamonds! A crown for an empress’/ ‘A rhinestone tiara’/ ‘What’s rhinestone?’. This allows the audience to see the theme of different types of lifestyle background’s the characters would have been brought up in within the play. Towards the end of scene two Stanley confronts Blanche about the property in Mississippi. The theme of gender appears to show that Stanley is the dominant male and his demands should be acted upon ‘don’t play so dumb. You know what! – Where’s the papers?’ Blanche’s confidence increases and mocks Stanley making him rage in anger causing him to take all of Blanche paper work on the estate and love letters from her late husband.

Williams use of stage directions allows us to see that these letters are personal to Blanche and that the touch of Stanley’s hands insults them. This allows us to understand that Blanche is aware of Stanley’s animalistic ways and his touch insults the ‘dead boy’. Stanley then finds the information of the estate and that it was lost on a mortgage. Stanley’s chance of receiving some of the estates wealth is not possible he then tries to hide his greed by saying he was looking into his wife affair’s because of the baby. Lastly Williams used an affect of double meaning on a quote ‘Which way do we – go now – Stella ?’, the first meaning was what to do tonight but the second is a question of what are they going to do now that they have lost Belle Reve.

A theme that becomes very noticeable within the first two scene’s is Gender. When Stanley re-enters in the first scene the audience can immediately understand that Stanley and Blanche are complete opposites except for one link, which is Stella. Williams use of stage directions allows us to understand that Stanley is a very animalistic character whose main pleasure is women. Stanley’s qualities are variously described as brutality, lust for life and virility. Stanley’s qualities affect Blanche because he is different to what Blanche is accustom to back home.

Towards the end of scene one when Stanley returns from bowling there is evidence that Blanche’s behavior changes and become more sensitive, her nature becomes different to the way she acts around her sister. Williams shows evidence of this firstly when Stanley questions her visit she become panicked and begins to mutter ‘I – uh-‘ Blanche is out of her comfort zone and has lost all confidence in herself. Secondly in the stage directions when a cat screeches near the window. Blanche overreacts and springs up with a scream were she becomes so panicked when around Stanley.

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A Streetcar Named Desire: Williams’ Message to the Audience Regarding Mental Illness

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The Gender Stereotypes In The Play A Streetcar Named Desire And Film All About Eve

The attitude towards new and old in the play a streetcar named desire, streetcar named desire: character analysis of blanche dubois, the female psyche and the effects of their sexual transgressions: a streetcar named desire, the awakening, and a centaur plays croquet, streetcar named desire: symbolism and themes in playwriting, subjects of race and socioeconomic factors in society in streetcar named desire, streetcar named desire: illustration of trauma theory and stigmatization, stanley as a villain in tennessee williams' play 'a streetcar named desire', top similar topics.

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