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Home : Studyworld Studynotes : A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire

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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES :

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams



Important Facts and Accomplishments:
Tennessee Williams wrote nearly thirty plays. He also wrote two novels and a number of short stories and plays. The Glass Menagerie got him the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Sidney Howard Memorial. Night of the Iguanas, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof also earned him the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof earned him Pulitzer Prizes. Fifteen of Tennessee William’s plays have been made into movies.


Style Characteristics:
Tennessee William’s writing is very accessible and easy to read. His characters are distinctly different and easy to relate to. They seem (sometimes disturbingly so) like real people. His wiring flows nicely and the stage directions are very clear so that people putting on a production of his play are left little room for guesswork. He wrote the play as if he could see it in his head and it was being played out.

Other Works:
1. Night of the Iguanas
2. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
3. The Glass Menagerie
4. The Rose Tattoo
5. Baby Doll
6. The Fugitive Kind
7. Summer and Smoke
8. Camino Real
9. Orpheus Descending
10. Sweet Bird of Youth

Personal Reaction: (One student writes...)
I really liked this play. It was very interesting and read quickly. I especially liked the character of Stella. :) I knew right away there was something not quite right about Blanche.  The ending was kind of bad, though. it didn’t end like I wanted it too. I thought that Stella should have believed what Blanche said and left that stupid oaf of a man, but instead she sent her sister to the looney bin. I suppose that Tennessee Williams goes in for the tragic ending.  I’ve seen the Rose Tattoo and now I’ve read A Streetcar Named Desire and both end fairly tragically.

Quotes:
Blanche: They told me to take a street-car named Desire... (p15)

Stanley: What’s a rhinestone?
Stella: Next door to glass. (p36)

Blanche: I’m sorry, but I haven’t noticed the stamp of genius even on Stanley’s forehead.
(p50)

Mitch: Poker shouldn’t be played in the house with women. (p58)

Stanley: Stell-lahhhhhhh! (p59) -This was the only thing I knew from this play before I read
it. :-)

Blanche: What you’re talking about is brutal desire-just- Desire! -the name of that rattle-trap
of a street- car that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down
another. (p70)

Blanche: Thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is-Stanley Kowalski!-surivivor of the stone age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle!  And you-you here-waiting for him! Maybe he’ll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night!-you call it-this party of apes! Somebody growls-some creature snatches something-the fight is on! God! Maybe we are a long way from being made in God’s image, but Stella-my
sister-there has been some progress since then! (p72)

Stanley: Don’t ever talk that way to me! "Pig-Polack-disgusting-vulgar-greasy!"-them kind of words have been on your tongue and your sister’s been too much around here! What do you two think you are? A pair of queens? Remember what Huey Long said-"Every Man is a King!" And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it! (p107)

Stanley: We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning. (p130)

Stella: I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley. (p133)

Steve: This game is seven card stud. (p142)



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