A Streetcar Named Desire

Okay wow. This play broke my heart.

I haven’t ever really read a play before, unless you count Shakespeare in school? But I hated it because it wasn’t my choice and it wasn’t my idea of an interesting book. Therefore I was quite hesitant going into A Streetcar Named Desire, yet also quite excited because it was finally a play that had peaked my interest. And at 100 ish pages, what could really go wrong?

The play format isn’t something I thought I would particularly enjoy. I always thought it would be disjointed and confusing and not really make much sense. Though I think a novel would’ve given more  background to the characters and story, I think part of the play’s beauty is that you’re left guessing about so many things and trying to make things fit together when you don’t have all the information.

The early 1950s, New Orleans setting was fascinating and beautiful, yet still, at times, hard to read. Obviously many things have changed in the past 60 or so years, and I am very aware that these changes have taken place, but it was still shocking to read about sexism, racism and the general treatment of others around you. It was horrifying at times, yet I couldn’t put the book down because it was a brutally honest depiction of what that generation was experiencing.

It is hard to say much about the characters without spoiling anything. Though I will say, expect them to be a lot more complex than they first seem.

The last two scenes of the play are shocking and brutal, but they are what will stir your emotions. It will make you angry and passionate and sorrowful, all at the same time.

The essay at the end of the novel, Tennessee Williams interviews himself, albeit a seemingly strange concept at first glance, was a very entertaining way of understanding some of his thought process. It almost validated some of the confusion I was feeling throughout the novel, and was quite humorous.

An excellent play and I would definitely recommend it to those who are interested in venturing into some modern classics!


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