Themes in "A Streetcar Named Desire" - Death

Topics: A Streetcar Named Desire, Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski Pages: 3 (1021 words) Published: February 25, 2011
Death & the Past in “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Our lives are consumed by the past. The past of what we have done and what we once accomplished. As we look back on these past memories we can realize the impact these events have on our present lives. The loss of a past love marks our future relationships, the loss of our family influences the choices we make today, and the loss of our dignity can confuse the life we live in the present. These losses or deaths require healing from which you need to recover. Tennessee Williams expresses the effects of not moving on and healing and how they can cause devastation as apparent in the play A Streetcar Named Desire. The theme of A Streetcar Named Desire is death. We encounter this idea first with the death of Blanche and Stella's relationship as sisters. Blanche and Stella had a life together once in Bel Reve and when Stella decided to move on in her life and leave, Blanche never could forgive her. We can see this in the scene when Blanche first arrives in New Orleans and meets Stella at the bowling alley. Stella and Blanche sit down for a drink and we immediately see Blanche's animosity towards Stella. Blanche blames Stella for abandoning her at Bel Reve, leaving Blanche to handle the division of the estate after their parents die. As result of Stella's lack of support, we see Blanche become dependent on alcohol and lose her mental state. Blanche comes to be a terrible wreck throughout the play as we learn of the details of her life at Bel Reve. She loses the entire estate and struggles to get through an affair with a seventeen year old student. This baggage that Blanche carries on her shoulders bites at Stella throughout the play, eventually causing the demise of their relationship. As Blanche's visit goes on with Stella, the past burden seems too great and with the help of Stanley, Stella has Blanche committed to a mental hospital, thus symbolizing the death of the relationship they once had. The next death we...
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