A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
This is a play, which means it is usually performed on a stage. It takes place on New Orleans. It was also a movie with big fat Marlon Brando when he was young and not so fat playing the role of Stanley Kowalski.
Blanche Dubois: Blanche is an English teacher from Laurel, Mississippi. She gets fired because she screws a student. Blanche has had a rough life. She does a lot of things because she’s emotionally unstable. She’s a really big whore. She lies a lot and makes up stories and people. In the end she goes bonkers.
Stella Kowalski: Stella is Blanche’s sister. Stella grew up in a small town in Mississippi, but then moved to New Orleans. She is married to Stanley Kowalski. Stella is young, and she doesn’t really stand up for herself. Her husband is a prick, but Stella stays with him.
Stanley Kowalski: He is Stella’s husband. Stanley is really bad husband. He is brutally honest and abuses Stella. He’s a macho asshole. He is really violent. In this story, Stanley hates Blanche A LOT.
Harold Mitchell (Mitch): His nickname is Mitch. Mitch is a nice guy, but not too exciting. Mitch is a real momma’s boy. He likes Blanche a lot.
Eunice Hubbell: She and her husband (Steve Hubbell) are the landlords of the apartment building Stella and Stanley live in. Eunice is nosy, but she’s a good friend to Stella and helps her with some stuff.
This chick named Blanche Dubois comes to New Orleans to visit her sister (Stella) and her brother-in-law (Stanley). Blanche is a real high-class babe. She just had a nervous breakdown and went bonkers. So she’s visiting her sister to get better. Stella is pregnant.
Blanche tells her sis that their family’s plantation (back in Mississippi), has been taken away by the bank. Then she gets mad at her sister because her sister left home very early and Blanche had to stay there taking care of everyone. Stanley thinks that Blanche is lying. He thinks she sold the land to buy jewelry. Stanley goes through Blanche’s things. He finds a letter from her dead ex-husband (He killed himself).
Then Blanche and Stella go to a movie, while Stanley is playing poker with his buddies. When the ladies get home, Blanche meets this dude named Mitch. Blanche and Mitch flirt. Then Stanley gets mad because his poker game has been disturbed. So he starts beating up Stella (we told you he was violent). His friends put him in the shower so he will "cool off". Meanwhile Stella and Blanche go to some apartment to hide. Then Stanley goes outside looking for Stella. He calls her name out then when she shows her face, he carries her back home.
Blanche hates Stanley. She wants to leave but she can’t because she doesn’t really have another home. But then Blanche makes up some story about a friend who she could stay with. She tries to get Stella to run away but Stella stays with her prick of a husband. Then Blanche and Mitch start dating. Stanley finds out that Blanche used to be a hooker. She denies it.
Mitch asks Blanche to marry him. Then Blanche tells him why her ex husband killed himself. He was gay and she rejected him so he killed himself. Then Stanley finds out more dirt. Blanche didn’t leave her job, she was fired because she shagged a student. Also, the people from her town kicked her out because she was shagging the local soldiers.
Then Stanley tells Mitch the TRUTH about Blanche. Then Stanley tells Stella. On Blanche’s birthday, Stanley gives Blanche a bus ticket home. Stella gets pissed at Stanley and they start fighting. Stella feels pain and goes into labor. Later that night, Mitch talks to Blanche about her dirty past. She apologizes and says she needed to have sex because she was lonely. Then Mitch gets turned on because she’s such a saucy whore. He attacks her but Blanche ain’t putting out for him.
Stanley comes back from the hospital and finds Blanche packed to leave. Blanche tells him that she’s going somewhere with her rich friend (the dude who she made up). Stanley calls her a liar and starts to attack her. She tries to fight him with a bottle. Then he rapes her.
Couple weeks pass by and Blanche thinks she’s going to the country (she’s really going to a nuthouse). They go outside and Blanche sees that a doctor and nurse are waiting for her. At first she fights the nurse, but the doctor calms her down and sweet-talks her. Then they take her off to the funny farm.
SCENE BY SCENE
- The first part of this scene is a description of New Orleans, where Stella and Stanley live.
- Williams (author) also describes the street Stella and Stanley live on, called Elysian Fields
- In Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields is the place in the underworld where all the heroes went when they died. It is supposed to be a great place.
- Stanley is walking with his buddy, Mitch. Stanley gets Stella and they go to a bowling alley.
- They leave and Blanche enters the scene. She is walking down their street with her suitcase. S
- She asks Eunice Hubbell where Stella’s apartment is. Eunice takes her to Stella’s apartment
- Then Stella comes in and Blanche tells her that she had a nervous breakdown and had to take a leave of absence from school.
- Stella then tells her about Stanley and kinda warns her about meeting him (because he’s a big goon)
- Blanche tells Stella about their plantation back home, Belle Reve: the place where they grew up.
- She tells Stella that everyone in the family died, and nobody could pay the bank. So the bank took it away.
- Stanley comes home and meets Blanche. He doesn’t like her. He asks her about her marriage but she doesn’t tell him anything.
- Stanley and his buddies play poker that night. Stella and Blanche make plans to go out.
- When Blanche is showering, Stella asks Stanley to be nice to Blanche.
- Stanley tells her he doesn’t believe that she’s telling the truth about losing the plantation.
- He thinks that she sold it to buy jewelry.
- Blanche gets out of the shower and she talks to Stanley. Stanley tells her he thinks her story is a pack of lies.
- She says that she’s telling the truth about the plantation.
- Stanley still doesn’t believe her so he goes through her bags to find the bank papers (proof)
- He finds some love letters from her husband (He’s dead). The love letters refer to him as a "boy"
- Blanche finally hands Stanley a bunch of papers to prove to him that she’s telling the truth.
- Stanley doesn’t have time to read through a bunch of papers so he believes her.
- He tells Blanche that he cares because his wife is pregnant and he needs $$
- Blanche goes outside to talk to Stella. She tells him that she and Stanley called a truce
- Stella and Blanche go out. When they come home, Stanley is playing poker with his buddies.
- Stanley is getting his ass kicked in poker and is mad. He yells at Stella and Blanche to leave the room because they’re distracting the men
- Blanche asks Stella about one of Stanley’s friends (Mitch) because she likes him.
- Stella tells her that all he cares about is taking care of his sick mom
- Mitch leaves the poker game. Then Blanche flirts with him. She is a charming seductress and he thinks that she is the bomb.
- Blanche turns on the radio and starts dancing with Mitch. Stanley gets pissed and throws the radio out the window.
- Then Stanley starts to beat up Stella because he’s angry and he’s drunk
- His buddies grab him and put him in the shower (to cool off I guess)
- Blanch and Stella hide in Eunice’s Hubbell’s apartment.
- Then Stanley goes outside and yells for Stella. She comes out and hugs him.
- Then he carries her back to the house.
- Blanche is still scared, but Mitch comes and comforts her.
- The next day Blanche talks to Stella about Stanley beating her.
- Blanche tells her that he’s psycho.
- Stella tells her that everything is ok because he apologized AND Stella says that she is sexually turned on to him being a complete nut.
- Blanche tells her to run away with her and open some shop. Blanche tells her about some rich friend she has who will help them (he’s not real just some made up dude — she is crazy)
- Stanley comes in and tells her that he heard everything they said.
- Stella has to decide if she’s going or staying
- Blanche writes a letter to her imaginary rich friend. Then her and Stella hear Eunice Hubbell and her husband fighting
- Some time passes and Stanley talks with Blanche. He tells her about some guy named Shaw he met.
- Shaw told him that Blanche was a hooker. Blanche says she isn’t, but Stanley can tell she’s lying.
- Blanche talks to Stella about Mitch. She asks for advice because she has another big date with him.
- Stella and Stanley go out for the night. Some paperboy shows up and Blanche flirts with him and she gives him a little kiss (because she’s a dirty strumpet).
- The paperboy leaves.
- Then Mitch shows up and gives her flowers
- Blanche and Mitch get home at about 2.
- They’re walking in the streets and Blanche asks Mitch about some streetcar that’s named "Desire" Hence, the title. She doesn’t really care about the streetcar she is making sexual innuendo.
- Blanche plays a bunch of mind games with Mitch. She acts like she’s better than he is.
- They go inside the house and Blanche wants to pretend to be French. She starts speaking French and Mitch doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about.
- She is making him feel stupid.
- Mitch asks Blanche how old she is because his mom wanted to know.
- Blanche realizes he’s getting ready to propose marriage to her.
- She tells him about her ex. Apparently the dude was gay and Blanche was a prick to him. So he killed himself.
- The story makes Mitch cry. Then he kisses Blanche
- Stella is getting ready for Blanche’s big birthday party. Then Stanley comes home and tells her that some guy told him the REAL scoop on Blanche
- He says that Blanche was kicked out of her town because she was a hooker.
- Also she was fired from her job because she shagged one of the students
- Stella doesn’t believe him. She tells him to take it easy on her but Stan wants to be a big prick.
- He tells Stella that he already told Mitch about how she was a dirty whore.
- Stanley also has a bus ticket, which he plans to give to Blanche to go back home.
- Mitch doesn’t come to the birthday party (because now he knows Blanche is a whore)
- Stella asks Stanley to clear the dishes but he starts yelling at her.
- Stanley goes outside for some air, and Blanche calls Mitch to see why he stiffed.
- Stella goes outside with Stanley.
- He tells her that Blanche leaving their house will be a GOOD thing.
- Then Stanley gives Blanche her gift (the bus ticket back home). Blanche is really insulted.
- Then Stella goes into labor and goes to the hospital.
- Blanche is at home (alone) and drinking. Then Mitch comes over.
- Mitch gets mad at her for lying to him about her past and everything.
- Then Blanche tries to explain to him why she was such a whore.
- She tells him it was because she was so sad from her broken marriage, that she banged everyone in sight.
- Mitch gets turned on by the fact that she’s such a slut. So he asks her to have sex with him.
- She tells him she will have sex with him only if they get married.
- Mitch tells her that she’s a dirty whore and he’d never bring her home to meet his mom.
- Then he starts to make a move like he’s gonna rape her.
- She yells out the window and Mitch takes off.
- Stanley comes home because Stella hasn’t given birth yet.
- Blanche asks about Stella then gets scared because she realizes she’ll be alone with Stanley the whole night
- Then she starts telling him how she’s going on some cruise with her rich friend — the imaginary one because she’s nuts
- They argue about Blanche being a dirty whore
- Then Stanley goes and changes into his pajamas. When he comes out he starts to attack Blanche
- She tries to defend herself with a broken bottle. She swings and misses and falls down.
- Stanley then carries her into the bedroom and rapes her.
- Blanche tells Stella that Stanley raped her.
- Stella doesn’t believe her because she wants her world to be perfect.
- Knowing that her husband was some deranged rapist, her life would be ruined. So she’s in a little denial.
- Stella doesn’t want to believe Blanche. So she convinces herself that Blanche is insane.
- So she arranges for Blanche to go to the insane asylum
- Blanche still thinks she’s going on the cruise with her friend (imaginary friend) — remember, she actually IS a little crazy
- Meanwhile Stanley and his buddies are playing poker.
- A doctor and a nurse from the nuthouse show up to take Blanche.
- Blanche sees the nurse and goes back in the house.
- Then the nurse tries to put a strait jacket on her.
- Blanche then goes insane and starts hearing voices and stuff
- Stella feels really guilty that she is sending her sister to a nuthouse.
- Then the doctor talks to Blanche. He sweet talks her into getting into the ambulance.
- She is out of her mind by now so she thinks he’s some guy that’s hitting on her.
- Stella still feels like shit. Stanley comes to console her. He puts his hand on her breasts.
THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART
- There is a huge conflict between Blanche and Stanley in this book.
- They are as different as night and day.
- They fight because they have different outlooks on life.
- Stanley is a hard-nosed guy who calls it like he sees it. He’s like one of those blue collar non-emotional guys (like a chicago Bears fan)
- Blanche is a woman whose life revolves around fantasy and beautiful things. She has lied about her past and puts a spin on every situation.
- Sex is a huge thing in this book.
- Blanche is a whore, then doesn’t have sex with Mitch. Then Mitch tries to rape her.
- Then Stanley rapes Blanche in the end.
- This whole sex thing deals with females fighting against males.
- It is sex in romance, but also can be seen as sex in violence like a fight.
- See how when someone gets lonely, they get desperate. Blanche moves in with Stanley and Stella and really has nobody to be close to. So she starts making up imaginary people. How sad.