What are the four major themes in A Streetcar Named Desire?
Desire and fate, death, madness and social class
What does the streetcar symbolise?
The inescapability of fate.
What was the streetcar’s destination, Desire’s, more specific meaning?
It symbolised the destructive power of sexual desire.
What is the effect of Blanche’s romanticism of death?
Her instinct to romanticise death recoils from the reality of death, but the obsession is always there.
What is Stanley the embodiment of?
Life and vigour.
After Blanche is pushed over the edge, what happens?
She retreats from the unbearable reality into her make-believe world, making her committal to an institution possible, even inevitable.
Why is mental health such a strong theme in Streetcar? (Context)
Williams’ sister Rose, who experienced violent sexual fantasies and made accusations against her father. Williams feared he may succumb to mental ill-health; his sister’s strange behaviour became a source of anxiety to her parents (the anxieties of the family over Blanche at Belle Reve echo this).