A Streetcar Named Desire Study Resources Setting: Elysian Fields in New Orleans o This is a mythological allusion (know what an allusion is). What does it mean? Why is it ironic? Setting: New Orleans o What was significant about this city at that time? Why would it be a place that would be comfortable for Williams? How did Blanche lose Belle Reve? Symbols: package of meat, paper lantern and light bulb, love letters and financial papers, Blanche’s trunk and the things in it, white clothes Themes: New South vs. Old South (who represents what?); Reality vs. Illusion; the relationship between death and desire; women’s dependence on men Why does Stanley not like Blanche (particularly at the beginning)? What does Blanche say about Stanley when she speaks “plainly” about him? Where did Blanche actually stay when she lost Belle Reve? Where did Stanley tell Mitch she had stayed? Lit Devices “casting my pearl before swine” – this comes from the Bible. What is the literary device used when someone refers to another work? “just as plump as a little partridge” Quotes from the Packet 1. “You all are married. But I’ll be alone when she goes.” The speaker is Mitch. He’s relating the other men’s marriages to the relationship with his mother. He’s somewhat of a “momma’s boy,” but he is also a foil to Stanley in that he’s sensitive and caring. 2. “…After all, a woman’s charm is fifty percent illusion.” The speaker is Blanche. She likes to keep up the illusion of being charming, young, and lady-like. 3. “I can hardly stand it when he is away for a night…When he’s away for a week I nearly go wild!” The speaker is Stella. She’s dependent on Stanley; their relationship is based very much on physical attraction and co-dependence, which is why Stella turns a blind eye to Stanley’s faults. 4. “I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it…” The speaker is Stanley. He’s reminding Stella that he took her away from the monotony of her life at Belle Reve and brought her down to his level. She loved it because it was everything her previous life was not (thrilling, spontaneous, raucous) 5. “You’re not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother.” The speaker is Mitch. He says this to Blanche in Scene 9 after she admits to everything Stanley had told him about her past. He tries to have sex with her, and she says she will if he marries her. This is his response. 6. “We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!” The speaker is Stanley at the end of Scene 10. He is speaking to Blanche, basically justifying what he’s about to do – rape her. In his mind, they have had sexual tension from the beginning because she flirts with him and has not allowed him to exert his power over her the way he has with Stella. 7. “Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Speaker: The speaker is Blanche. She says this at the end of the play to the doctor who is taking her to the state hospital. Blanche has had “many intimacies” with strangers in her past. She is dependent on other people and can’t stand being alone. She also doesn’t allow many people, specifically men, to get close to her because once they do, they run the other way.