A Streetcar Named Desire Research Paper

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What does William’s depiction of Blanche and Stanley’s lives say about desire? The playwright has managed to set the subject for this play by emphasizing desire through the title, A Streetcar Named Desire. Both the protagonist and antagonist pursue desire, but in different ways, leading them down separate paths. For Blanche, desire has been a recurring theme throughout her life. She first learned about it through hearing of the epic fornications” of her ancestors and later experienced it herself after her husband’s death.

Stanley, the antagonist, comes into contact with desire in his marriage. Blanche, due to her upbringing, still believes herself to be a blue-blooded Lady. In doing so, she compels herself to believe in a very stringent culture that places various restrictions on one’s behavior. The culture that she adheres forbids cross-class relationships and considers sex to be an immoral and dirty act only to be done in private and with your spouse. Therefore, desire is also demonized as an illicit emotion. Blanche feels she has to distance herself from both desires to be socially acceptable.

However, Blanche cannot forsake her desires as her natural instincts push her towards sexual gratification. This internal conflict causes a divide within herself, contributing to the deterioration of her psyche. She runs away to her sister’s home in hopes of starting anew, but her past catches up with her and she ultimately loses touch with reality. On the other hand, Stanley is a working-class man who is married to Stella, Blanche’s sister from a higher social class.

Their union is held together solely by desire and lust. However, when the haze of passion fades, reality reveals their true issues that often lead to violent altercations. Neither Blanche nor Stanley has managed their desire properly. Blanche’s failure led to her complete destruction, while Stanley’s turned him into his wife’s sister’s rapist. Through these broken and twisted characters, Williams teaches us not to blindly follow desire’s siren call but rather suggests that we do so only in moderation.

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