A Streetcar Named Desire

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Ben Mitchell presents…

Tennessee Williams’

A STREETCAR
NAMED
DESIRE

He acts like an animal,
Has an animal’s habits! Eats like one, moves like one,
Talks like one!”

Directors Note
“I don’t want realism. I want magic!” This fantasy of wanting an ideal or perfect world has turned into an illusion with people both on the outside and inside. This illusion of an idea life and personal identity is portrayed not only in the real world today, but also Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Representative of this and symbolising different aspects the issues are two of the most important characters in the play, Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. Right from the start, Blanche is already a fallen woman in society’s eyes. She is sufficiently self-aware to know that she cannot survive in the world as it is. Reality is too harsh, so she must create an illusion that will allow herself to maintain her delicate, fragile hold on life. Stanley, however, represents the new, diverse America to which Blanche doesn’t belong. He sees himself as a social leveller, and Blanche is a relic from a defunct social hierarchy. Stanley is seen early on in the play as somewhat an egalitarian hero. However in the end, Stanley’s down-to-earth character proves harmfully crude and brutish. He is seen as an animal whose disturbing, degenerate nature brings evil to him. The play ends with Stanley as the ideal family man. The wrongfulness of this representation ironically calls into question society’s decision to ostracize Blanche. Throughout the play, Blanche’s dependence on illusion is contrasted with Stanley’s resolute realism, and in the end it is Stanley and his worldview that win. To survive, Stella must also resort to a kind of illusion, forcing herself to believe that Blanche’s accusations against Stanley are false so that she can continue living with her husband. Stanleys domination of everything around him shows us...
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