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A Streetcar Named Desire
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A Streetcar Named Desire

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  145,980 ratings  ·  1,670 reviews
The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams’ essay “The World I Live In.”

It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared—57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Will
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Paperback, 107 pages
Published December 1st 1952 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1947)
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sckenda
Blanche DuBois seeks sanctuary with her sister, Stella, in New Orleans, but she instead delivers herself into the hands of an enemy she has not yet met. Upon arriving in New Orleans, Blanche takes the streetcar named Desire, transfers to Cemeteries, and gets off at Elysian Yields.

The Kowalskis live in poor section of the Quarter. The sounds of music and arguing couples fill the air. Proud of her southern gentility, Blanche feels superior to her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, and his friends
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David
There's a sort of invisible thread from Madame Bovary to A Streetcar Named Desire, which in its route gets tied up in a hot whorehouse and wraps vainly around the cosmetics section of a pharmacy in the Southern United States before knotting at its terminus in New Orleans. I find it almost criminal how often people mistake Blanche duBois' whimsy for female frailty, for I think she is an almost unnaturally strong character; far, far moreso than her timid sister Stella. Perhaps it is because her fo ...more
Sketchbook
"You are an ordinary guy and your wife's sister comes to stay with you," began Mary McCarthy in the Partisan Review. "Whenever you want to go to the toilet, there she is in the bathroom, primping or having a bath. My God, you yell, can't a man pee in his own house?" This variation on the mother-in-law joke, which stunned Broadway in 1947 with the heroine's rape, swiftly became an American classic with such lines for the sex act as "getting those colored lights going."

On arrival Blanche, played b
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Becky
Aug 13, 2008 Becky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Becky by: Leslie
Shelves: reviewed, 2008
I enjoyed the story... It really drew me in, which is saying something considering that I picked it to read on commercial breaks during the Olympics... and I ended up reading instead of watching.

I liked this play because the characters seemed like real, flawed people. Granted, Blanche was a little over-the-top sometimes, but I imagine all southern-belle types are a little over-the-top from time to time.

Blanche was an easily identifiable character... someone who deeply regrets a thoughtless act
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Sue
Such a powerful drama! Williams presents his word-portraits so amazingly. As I noted when I read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, he also is a master of stage direction. When reading this play, it's possible to "see" the surroundings, hear the music and voices on the street.

Stanley, Stella and Blanche come alive on the pages as Blanche drops in at her sister's home creating a simmering stew of growing emotion. The heat of a Southern summer is reflected by all that happens in the two bedroom apartment as s
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Selena
Not a fan, though, I should preface that by saying that I'm not really a fan of Tenessee Williams in general (what kind of name is that anyway? Who names their kid after a state?). I don't share his fascination with abusive relationships, nor do I find the tragic romance in them that he does (call me a prude, but I am offended at the idea that anyone could find redeeming romantic qualities in an abusive relationship, especially a male writer).

I find nothing redeeming in the character of Stanley,
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Alex
I had some idea, from the hokey friendliness of the name "Tennessee Williams," and the cute titles of his plays - "Streetcar Named Desire"! "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!" - they sound like musicals - I had an idea that these would be friendly. Pop culture. In the great telephone game of pop culture, what I ended up hearing was Marlon Brando yelling "STELLA!", which sounded pretty goofy to me.

So that was the wrong impression. This play is fucking dark.

I love the mix of realism and poetry here. Stanley
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Jody
I love Tennessee Williams and this is why. I had never read a play with such passion and lyricism (except for Shakespeare). I had read Death of a Salesman (of course, fantastic, but dry, like a worn book), Our Town (I wanted to fall out of my desk from sheer boredom), and Desire Under the Elms (I wanted to hang myself from the ridiculousness of this horrible play. Even seeing gorgeous Sophia Loren could not pull my opinion out of the mud) and they did nothing for my bad sixteen year old self. Th ...more
Sara
Aug 10, 2007 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
This play offers such humanity and vulnerability in all of his characters. There is the faint echo of the deep south, the strained and potent relationship between Blanche and Stanley, her brother in law, the tension between the expecting Stella and her husband due to her sister's presence and Blanche's haunting vulnerability and madness creating a powerful vacuum that really sucked me in and held me there. I would hate for this wonderfully crafted play to just become an "masterpiece"; forgotten ...more
Justghada
First of all,

This book would never be one of the books that I would've chosen for myself. I read this book for my
AS exam. I actually loved it but I hated some characters in it.


After studying this book, I got to love it and appreciate it more.

Tennessee didn't only talk about random characters .. He talked about different classes, old money, working class and peoples point of you of them all.


Let me say I am a sucker for Happy ending .. and really hated the ending with all my heart. It left me hear
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Connie
I was even more impressed with A Streetcar Named Desire when I revisited it recently after first reading it about ten years ago. It has a wonderful combination of lyrical language and interesting characters.

Blanche DuBois comes to stay at the home of her sister Stella, and her husband Stanley Kowalski in a poor area of New Orleans. Blanche has lost both her job and the family home of Belle Reve. There is a family curse where "our improvident grandfathers and father and uncles and brothers exchan
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Christina
I know this is supposed to be a literary classic, but I really did not enjoy this play. The only good thing about it, is that it is relatively short. I have a feeling that the play is meant to have some sort of deep meaning, and that the characters themselves are meant to represent the changing times in American society, amongst other things. However this understanding still did not stop me from completely hating all of the characters in the play, and thus the whole entire play itself. The women ...more
David Sarkies
Dec 01, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: My English Teacher
Shelves: modernist
Ripping apart the veil of American society
2 December 2014

My previous review of this play (which for some reason I have decided to keep) was probably a little to harsh, particularly since I wrote it from memory as opposed to writing it with the play fresh in my mind. Having now finished reading this play for a third time I have been forced to lower its rating even further. Personally, despite wanting to, I cannot feel that I can give it any more that I have given it because I find this play to b
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Cathy DuPont
Tennessee Williams captures the very basic of human emotions. Perhaps trite comment but true.

I put off reading this play far too long although I did see the 1951 movie with Marlon Brando, Vivian Leigh and Kim Hunter. And no, I didn't see it when it came out.

The movie was excellent but as we know, being reading and book fanatics, the book always seems to be better. Pictured Marlon Brando throughout the entire read, of course. Perfect casting for all.

Tennessee Williams at his very best, raw emo
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Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
oh man, it hurts. it does. but i won't cry because i'm not given to those kind of things. even though it is eight thirty in the morning, and i basically read this book at the ass-crack of dawn and now have a fucking entire day to get through. how will i ever manage it? with chutney of course. and maybe the history boys, if i can manage it. ohohoh...

this book basically showcases the myriad range of problems that were, are, will be in the foreseeable future deemed way-of-life but are so entirely,
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Vanessa
I can't believe it's taken me this long to get round to reading this.
At the moment I seem to be going through my work's book cupboard, snapping up as much as possible. I view teaching drama texts as a weak point of mine, as I have not read many plays, so this is my third play of the school year, and I have to say this has been my favourite so far.
The characters were so vivid and real that they were practically jumping out the page at me. Every character I felt was flawed in some way, yet it didn
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Lieve Brekelmans

I've read many plays before and the thing with reading plays instead of seeing them is that you have to create the visuals yourself. This is why I'd rather see plays than read them. Yet, 'a streetcar named Desire' touched my nerves. It is well-written and provides the reader with the oppurtunity to visualise the symbolic utilage of light, sound and setting. The role of Blanche is a role I'd really like to play one day. Would be awesome. Concluding: this play is wonderful to read but I can imagin
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Soplada
Men are the same at any time, in any place. still don't know why it ended like this but it raises so many questions about society, feminism and one's worth in life (it consists of what).
Liam
Here is one play so finely crafted, one can never tire of re-readings (or re-viewings, if you're going to a theatre).

Where to start? Every line of dialogue ''shimmers and glows'' with the majesty the play's tragic protagonist, Blanch DuBois, desperately yearns for but never achieves. Everyone has a distinct voice - Blanche's deceptive speech patterns are the only ones grammatically correct. Stella is down to Earth and matter of fact, always trying to appease whom she's talking to, but ultimatel
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Adira
I found this play to be utterly disconcerting. The dynamics between Stanley, Stella, and Blanche was weird from the start. Stanley's character was nothing, but brute force all through the play while Blanche was this ethereal character that had no real weight in her presence or dialogue. Yet she kept me engaged enough in her storyline that I felt obligated to finish the play. Stella's character made me want to shake her and tell her to open up her eyes to her husband's Stanley's shortcomings.

I f
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د.أحمد فايز
الدراما الحادة تتجسد في هذه المسرحية التي تحكي بشكل متقطع أجزاء من حياة (بلانش دوبوا)، وتعطي لمحات من المأساة الإنسانية المتعلقة بالحب والفقد، الفقر والجنون. في بعض المشاهد تجد أن النص يفيض شعوراً عذباً رقيقاً يكشف النفوس ويظهرها كما لو أنها وشاحاً حريرياً أبيض، وفي مشاهد أخرى تشعر بفيض الذكريات موجعاً ينخز في النفس حتى تكاد الأرواح تدمي. وعلى الرغم من ذلك فإن النص يبدو قصيراً حد الاقتضاب المؤسف، وكأنه جرعة مركزة من الغم. وأنا لست من هواة التراجيديا. ولذلك فإن النص جيد بذاته وأركانه، ولكن تقييمي ...more
Ivana
I watched a Spanish film last night that reminded me of this play. In the film this Tennessee Williams' play is in the background of other human tragedies like a soundtrack echoing their sorrows and it goes so perfectly with the film that is dedicated to mothers and women. That is how I would describe this - a high work of art dedicated to women. It paints all of female strengths and weaknesses in such a delicate way. Finally, it is so beautifully written.
One line still rings in my head- There
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Nick
So over the weekend, it was suggested to me that I reread a book which had a main character with my mother's first name. I happen to be lucky enough to have a mother with the first name of "Blanche." So I got to reread "A Streecar named Desire." It is still one of the best comparisons of brutality and delicate ideals as aspects of the American character. And it's a warning of the lovelessness and loss that inevitably occurs when we innocently let brutality take over.
Michelle
First play that I've read in its entirety and I really liked it. In the beginning I needed to get used to the fact that it was a play, but I liked the change. Even though that this was mandatory reading, it did not feel like that. I really wanted to keep on reading because I liked the story and not because I had to. I got through it without any effort and I look forward to reading other works of his, The Glass Menagerie especially.
Ela
3.5

"I have a plan for both of us, to get us both -out!"
"You take it for granted that I am in something that I want to get out of."


Sexism, violence and madness in the stifling New Orleans heat. Hovering between 3 and 4 stars, I liked it but I didn't love it
Aimen
I've just recently started reading plays and they are a a different way to perceive what you're reading. This is a great start for someone looking to get into reading a new setting, other than just a book.
I finished in one setting, andI really liked Tennessee Williams particular style of writing. I don't doubt that I will be reading more by him.
The play revolves around a dysfunctional couple that basically relies on their sexual love as a base of the relationship (kind of like James Franco and M
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Dexter
Such a famous play, but it's brutal. Frailties are tested and battle lines are drawn from the outset between Blanche and Stanley, resulting in a tug of war until one gets overpowered and crushed. In the corner is Stella, Blanche's sister, neutral as Switzerland, who, not like Blanche, managed to find happiness after Belle Reve, although at a price.

What I loved so much about this play was its setting: New Orleans. Also, the way that Blanche talked was what you would expect from an English schoolt
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April
read in my theater class

2013: This class liked the play, probably because I emphasized the importance of stepping outside their own experience to remember that everybody doesn't think or behave the same way they do. It's an unusually empathetic bunch this year, anyway. They got it, and I love this play so hard right now.

---


It was a struggle to get my class to see Blanche as anything but a crazypants ho-bag lying cheater-face, but I think I got them to dig a little bit.

I almost straight up star
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Momina Masood
Grotesque yet touching - this is a remarkable play. The ugliness wallowing in the slimes of the human character - that which is inherent and bestial such, and that which time pours down, pitiable such - can do for one theme. Escapism and too much of it that one loses all contact with reality can do for another. I don't know why people like Stanley have their characters admired so (one must remember Thomas Hardy called his protagonist of The Mayor of Casterbridge 'a man of character', and he an a ...more
Holly
I don't really know how to review this play. After re-reading, I thought I'd enjoy it more, and don't get me wrong, I think I got more out of it. But I still didn't go 'wow, this is good'. Instead I was left with an odd taste in my mouth. Maybe it's just that I don't feel anything for the characters, or that I felt the plot weak. I guess I just didn't get it. Don't get me wrong, I liked Tennessee William's writing, it was superbly written. But at the same time, Blanche annoyed the hell out of me ...more
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...more
More about Tennessee Williams...
The Glass Menagerie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Suddenly Last Summer The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition) Summer and Smoke

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“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.” 2216 likes
“I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that's sinful, then let me be damned for it!” 422 likes
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