Major Works• The Glass Menagerie (1944)• A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)• A Rose Tattoo (1951)• Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)• The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (1957)
Williams Writing Style• Southern Gothic• Poetic Dialogue• Reality/Realism• Autobiographical Elements
A StreetCar Named Desire: Summary• Main Characters: Blanche DuBois, Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski, and Mitch• Deals with cultural clash between Blanche Dubois (fading relic of the Old South) and Stanley Kowalski (rising member of the industrial, urban immigrant class)• Blanche mask the reality of her situation with alcohol and fantasy• Stanley Kowalski “manliness” reveals his true character
A StreetCar Named Desirehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmQcX8hE33w
A StreetCar Named Desire: Themes• Inability of fantasy to cover reality• Dependence on men
What do The Critics say?• “Poetic innovator who, refus[ed] to be confined to the usual sterilities of playwriting patterns.”• “[referring to A Streetcar Named Desire] a revelation of what superb theater could be…Williams remembrance of things past gave the theater distinction as a literary medium.”
Discussion Questions• How does Williams depict “desire” through the Characters of Blanche, Stanley and Stella?• Some critics have debated the issue of whether or not Williams characters in some of his works are believable. Do you think Williams presents realistic characters in A Streetcar Named Desire?
Works citedHenthorne, Susan. "A Streetcar Named Desire." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-4. Literary Reference Center. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. “Southern gothic." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. “Tennessee Williams." : The Poetry Foundation. Web. 02 Apr. 2012