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Book Reviews

A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) - Shreya Sachdev

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 fantasy/drama play written by Tennessee Williams that revolves around the story of a woman named Blanche who has come to stay with her sister, Stella, and her sister's boyfriend Stanley Kowalski. Soon, Blanche and Stanley begin to have issues of their own and put Stella in a position to choose between them. I want to start off by saying that I think there are many interesting themes and motifs in this book. One idea that tends to come up a lot is the idea of power and masculinity, which Stanley definitely seems to have a lot of. This personality trait definitely influences a lot of the decisions he makes in the play and intensifies the tension in the play. Blanche, likewise, is also an interesting character of her own. The audience learns from the very beginning that she doesn't like to have the light shining on her because she believes that the light showcases her wrinkles, something that she's quite insecure about. Stanley is immediately suspicious of Blanche, but Stella insists that he does not do anything about it. Thus, the entire story is how Blanche and Stanley cope with each other and the different relationships that form once the tension between them intensifies. I think that the use of diction in the play and stage directions really make the characters come out to life. Without giving too much away, I will say that there are moments in which Stanley is about to attack Blanche or do something to her, and the way in which she defends herself and he tries to frighten her are well explained in the stage directions which really helps the audience understand the tension. I think A Streetcar Named Desire is a very interesting play and I would definitely recommend it. I would give A Streetcar Named Desire a 8.5/10. 

Shreya Sachdev