A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Blanche DuBois, a high school English teacher with an aristocratic background from Auriol, Mississippi, decides to move to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski, in New Orleans after creditors take over the family property, Belle Reve. Blanche has also decided to take a break from teaching as she states the situation has frayed her nerves. Knowing nothing about Stanley or the Kowalskis’ lives, Blanche is shocked to find that they live in a cramped and run down ground floor apartment – which she proceeds to beautify by putting shades over the open light bulbs to soften the lighting – and that Stanley is not the gentleman that she is used to in men. As such, Blanche and Stanley have an antagonistic relationship from the start. Blanche finds that Stanley’s hyper-masculinity, which often displays itself in physical outbursts, is common, coarse and vulgar, being common which in turn is what attracted Stella to him. Beyond finding Blanche’s delicate hoidy-toidy act as putting on airs, Stanley, a plant worker, believes she may really have sold Belle Reve and is withholding Stella’s fair share of the proceeds from them. What further affects the relationship between the three is that Stella is in the early stage of pregnancy with her and Stanley’s first child. Soon after her arrival at the Kowalskis, Blanche starts to date Mitch, one of Stanley’s friends and coworkers who is a little softer around the edges than most of Stanley’s friends. Mitch does not hide the fact that he is looking in general to get married because of a personal issue, he wanting Blanche ultimately to be his wife. Mitch is somewhat unaware that Blanche has somewhat controlled their courtship to put herself in the best possible light, both figuratively and literally. But in Stanley’s quest to find out the truth about Belle Reve and Blanche’s life in Auriol, the interrelationships between Stanley, Blanche, Stella and Mitch may be irrevocably affected, with any revelation about that life which may further destroy what’s left of Blanche’s already damaged mental state.