I finished UBIK recently and was thinking about doing today’s Book Experience on it, but I figure I would wait until I get my letter out to Ken, who told me to read it in the first place. Basically my Book Experience is already in that letter, and it’s probably better to read it from there than here. So, I’ll do a Book Experience on a play that I read last month: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. WARNING: There will be spoilers, more likely than not.
I mentioned before that I had read another play by Tennessee Williams a while ago in college called The Glass Menagerie, and I rather liked it. A Streetcar Named Desire is a play that keeps coming up for me; I just keep seeing it here and there, so I decided to get it and read through it, since I wanted to try another play by Williams anyway.
I definitely like the contrast between the two sisters when I read it: Stella and Blanche. Their personalities, how they act, how they dress, how they are portrayed as women, even their names are so different. I can’t really say I like them as female characters (and I think I’m just picky when it comes to likable female characters, especially ones who I would like to be strong), but yeah, it was just real interesting to see it all laid out like that.
As for Stanley, I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like him… just something about him rubbed me the wrong way. It’s probably just to portray how men can be, like those men of the house and expect their wives to cook them a good meal and all that, very clear male/female roles in society and in the family. Stella also falls into that role, so… I wish she did stick up to him sometimes.
It also felt like Blanche was hiding something, since she was talking about the plantation so much, although I didn’t expect the whole… finding out your husband was gay kind of thing. And the whole thing with Stanley, that was unexpected as well, and I think that made the entire ending very depressing because she was going to be sent to a mental hospital, where nobody would believe her, even though she was to tell about Stanley. That just… sucks on so many levels.
I enjoy reading plays like this because somehow, it tells a lot about human nature… it just feels very real. I have enjoyed Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller for the same reason. That was a very melancholy story as well.
So, that is it for my Book Experience on A Streetcar Named Desire. If you have your own Book Experience or thoughts on this, I’d love to hear about it!
Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!