The Realistic View-Point of A Streetcar Named
Desire accomplished. Whether, intentionally or unintentionally, Tennessee Williams
complement each other in this play(Mary Ann Corrigan, 575).?
Thomas (Tennessee) Lanier Williams was born on March 26 1911, in Columbus,
home of their maternal grand father who was an Episcopal minister. In 1927, Williams
studied for several years at the University of Missouri, but dropped out before he received
a degree. Williams then took a job in St. Louis at the International Shoe Company where
his father worked. Williams did eventually return to college and received a degree from
formally adopted the name ?Tennessee,? which was the state of his grandfather?s birth. In
Menagerie? making its introduction on Broadway. Williams went own to write
twenty-five full lengthier plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire, he produced dozens
Awards, one for A Streetcar Named Desire (Tom Sullivan, 1). When asked by a reporter
?Williams has written some of the most moving dramas of the modern theater
(John Whitty, 575).? The realistic concepts displayed in A Streetcar Named Desire are
Kowalski. Blanch posses as an illusion established in an effort of sustaining her normality,
sense of identity is put up as a front to conceal the reality of her identity as a lonely,
alcoholic, prostitutive hussy. This disillusionment is forced out of her by Stanley, the
barbaric womanizer, who possesses animalistic values. Stanley succeeds in stripping away
Blanche?s false egocentric illusions and forcing her to face his animalistic reality (Mary
Ann Corrigan, 575). This incident is symbolically represented in the drama when Stanley
representative of the everyday struggle of reality verses disillusionment, in which reality,
as it did in the play, usually comes out as the victor. The one key factor which makes this
play realistic is the fact that Williams gives the character both positive and negative
personality traits, which makes the play easier to relate to by the audience and makes the
plot seem like it really could have occurred.
In placing the characters of Blanche and Stanley against each other, Williams
represents an ambiguous moral character. Even though he possess a rough exterior of
animalistic and savage values he genuinely loves and needs his wife (Mary Ann Corrigan,
575). Thus further increasing the overall believability of the drama and adding to the
credential evidence of its realistic content.
of the progressive mainstream (Felicia Hardison Londre, 79).? In the controversy of
Blanche verses Stanley, it is evident that Williams sides with Blanche. Evidence to
462).? This is obviously in reference to over powering nature of Stanley?s brute strength.
With this statement Williams is telling his audience not to let go of all that is dear to you
discard these desires.
Through out this drama, Williams uses many objects and actions symbolically of
to financial circumstances surrounding it. the name Belle Reve is symbolic it that the word
original title of the plantation was Belle Rive, which means Beautiful Shore, and the
corruption of the name from Belle Rive to Belle Reve is symbolic of the false hood of it
reality that it has acquired by the time it has come to Blanche?s generation (Felicia
Hardison Londre, 89) Another specific example of symbolism can be found in the context
of chapter three. In this chapter Blanche makes the statement ?I can?t stand a naked light
bulb, anymore than I can a rough work or a vulgar action.? She than asks Mitch to put a
colored paper lantern over the bedroom lamp. This lamp is symbolic of reality and the
truth behind her past. She can?t bare the fact that she is an alcoholic, a tramp, and a lonely
has-been, so she conceals it and covers it up with a front of fabricated sophistication and
charm, just as she covered the lamp with a colorful paper lantern. More evidence to
support the lamp as an object of symbolism can be found in scene eight of the drama. This
room lamp, in an effort to get a better look at Blanche since he has never seen her in the
light of day. Blanche cries out for him to stop and states, ?I don?t want realism. I want
magic! … I don?t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth( Felicia Hardison Londre, 92)?
Another object of heavy symbolism in the drama are the many wore drobes that Blanche
possesses. While they may appear exquisite, elaborate, and very expensive, they are
actually all made of synthetic material and are actually cheap in value and quality. This is
symbolic of the front Blanche puts up for her self, while she may seem charming, beautiful,
and sophisticated, when you examine her more closely it is revealed that she is nothing but
a corrupt, lying, whore.
Tennessee Williams is obviously one of the most innovative playwrights of modern
theater. Through his play, A Streetcar Named Desire, he set the stage for realistic plots
and characters to combine with conventional theatrical dramatics, for an overall
spectacular show. Through his use of realistic characters, whom the audience could relate
Williams portrayed a realistic drama that his audience can relate to. The Characters of
Blanche and Stanley, are two characters that the audience could believe were real people.
through the characters in this drama and this was, I feel, was done intentionally by
Tennessee Williams in order to draw a closer tie between his drama, and real life.
Through his drama A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams has become the true
innovator of modern dramatic theater.
List of Works Cited
1. Londre, Felicia Hardison et all. Tennessee Williams. New York: Frederick Ungar
Publishing Co., 1971.
2. Corrigan, Mary Ann. ?Realism and Theatricalism in ?A Streetcar Named Desire?.?
Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984, 575-576.
3. Daniels Steven. ?A Tribute to Tennessee Williams.? Nov. 1998, April 9, 1999