Major Themes of A Streetcar Named Desire
There are 3 major themes in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, the first is the constant battle between fantasy and reality, second we have the relationship between sexuality and death, and lastly the dependence of men plays a major role in this book.
One of the first major themes of this book is the constant battle between fantasy and reality. Blanche explains to Mitch that she fibs because she refuses to accept the hand fate has dealt her. Lying to herself and to others allows her to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is. Stanley, a practical man firmly grounded in the physical world, disdains Blanche’s fabrications and does everything he can to unravel them. The relationship between Blanche and Stanley is a struggle between appearances and reality. It propels the play’s plot and creates an overarching tension. Ultimately, Blanche’s attempts to rejuvenate her life and to save Stella from a life with Stanley fail. One of the main ways the author dramatizes fantasy’s inability to overcome reality is through an exploration of the boundary between exterior and interior. The set of the play consists of the two-room Kowalski apartment and the surrounding street.
The next major theme of the book is the relationship between sexuality and death. Blanche’s fear of death manifests itself in her fears of aging and of lost beauty. She refuses to tell anyone her true age or to appear in harsh light that will reveal her faded looks. She seems to believe that by continually asserting her sexuality, especially toward men younger than herself, she will be able to avoid death and return to the world of teenage bliss she experienced before her husband’s suicide. Blanche’s lifelong pursuit of her sexual desires has led to...