Liam's Reviews > A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1925937
's review
Feb 25, 12


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 ultimately lacking in conviciton. Stanley is...blunt.

This makes for a huge contrast between each person's mode of being. Blanche's poetic sentiments range from genius insight to artless pretension (the 'unwashed grape' and 'deliberate cruelty' monologues in particular are genius). She uses language to hide and deceive. Stanley astutely debunks her artifice at every turn with a tenth of her vocabulary, and it makes for wondrous dramatic tension. Stella, ever the mediator, is torn between the two until the iconic finale...

Nobody looks or sounds flattering; the play is one dastardly deed exposed one after the other. There is an undercurrent of lack in every character's voice. Moral fibre is lacking in Elysian Fields, so it would seem. It's a sad, hopeless world they live in, especially Blanche, who is almost Shakespearean in her representation of human tragedy. She could well have been inspired by Ophelia...it'a a woman's tragedy, to be sure, condemned in a world where dependence on men (call them strangers if you will, Blanche, we all know who you're talking about) ultimately leads to her undoing, and Stella and Stanley, for all their mental stability, are partly to blame for her breakdown.
3 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Streetcar Named Desire.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.