A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams Study Help Essay Questions

1. Why does Blanche avoid strong light?

2. How are specific physical symbols used to characterize the essential nature of Stanley Kowalski?

3. How is it possible that two such opposite people as Blanche and Stanley could possibly meet?

4. Why does Blanche so openly flirt with Stanley in the first part of the play? What significance does this later have?

5. What is the purpose of the two poker games?

6. What do Blanche's actions with the young newspaper boy indicate about her conflict?

7. Characterize the essential differences between the Kowalski and the DuBois worlds.

8. How do Blanche's many baths influence the action of the drama?

9. What implications are there in Mitch's act of forcing Blanche under the naked light bulb?

10. Why does Blanche's rape totally destroy her?

11. Justify Stanley's antagonism toward Blanche.

12. Using evidence from the play, try to determine which is the real Blanche, the innocent and charming Blanche or the degenerate and promiscuous Blanche.

13. Show how each subsequent meeting between Blanche and Stanley increases in violence and antagonism.

14. Justify the Kowalski world as being superior to the DuBois world.

15. In spite of Blanche's past life, her deceit, and her artificiality, most readers and viewers tend to sympathize with and align themselves with her. How can this emotional reaction (or attachment) toward Blanche be justified?

16. Describe how Stella's child offers the only hope of a reconciliation between the two opposing worlds of Kowalski and DuBois.

17. Show how a Mitch-Blanche marriage could have been a perfect marriage if Stanley had not interfered.

18. Where do you consider Williams' final view toward illusion and reality to lie? Does he align himself with Stanley's reality and brutal honesty, or with Blanche's illusion and pretense?

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