A Streecar Named Desire is one of the greatest works of Tennessee Williams. It stands besides Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie as one of America's great pieces of theatrical work. In order to understand this play you must realize what time period it comes from and the state of the nation at this time. During the twentieth century, a theatrical movement called realism took root in America. Realism was developed as a form of entertainment that would be of more use and more relatable to general society. Realism started as a reaction to several devestating occurences. In America, realism was a reaction to the devestation that the Civil War had caused. In Germany, it was a reaction to the Thirty Years War. Realism brought to light real problems that people faced everyday. It adressed issues that were considered taboo and were considered too unpleasant to drag out of the closet. Some of the issues adressed by realism are: mental illness, homosexuality, adultery, financial ruin, etc.
A Streetcar Named desire generally expresses the theme of the old making way for the new ( a common theme in realism). In this play, Blanche Dubois is from the crumbling antebellum aristocracy, while her brother- in- law, Stanley Kowalski, is climbing the financial latter. The play is mainly about the clash between Blanche and Stanley's opposing personalities. All in all, it is an excellent well written piece of literature, however I must warn you it does get dark at alot of points in the plot. Though my experience, I feel that it is a great play, but because of my age I feel that I lack the appreciation that an older reader/ playgoer would have for it. I would definitely recommend this book for adults (Not Teenagers).