25 A Streetcar Named Desire Quotes For Questioning Fantasy And Reality

Question reality with our awesome A Streetcar Named Desire quotes. 

Literature and theater fans adore and respect A Streetcar Named Desire for various reasons. 

Let’s explore one of Tennessee Williams’ classic novels. 

Be sure to check out the movie too!

What is A Streetcar Named Desire?

A Streetcar Named Desire is a twelve-scene drama written by Tennessee Williams in 1947. 

The story revolves around Stella, and Stanley Kowalski, a young married couple living in New Orleans. 

Stella’s sister Blanche moves in with the Kowalskis and turns their world upside down. 

Not only does the story bring to life the social interactions of mid-twentieth century Southern America, but it brought to light often unaddressed topics such as domestic violence, alcoholism, misogyny, racism, and gender roles. 

Check out these cool facts about A Streetcar Named Desire below:

  • Blanche’s character was a stand-in for Tennessee Williams. 
  • A Street Car Named Desire was Marlon Brando’s big break. 
  • A Street Car Named Desire was named after an actual street car line. 

Why is A Streetcar Named Desire considered a literary classic?

Tennessee Williams was a gay man who centered his classic story on themes that explore homosexuality and the evolution of old American southern culture. 

It was an instant hit when A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway. 

One reason for the play’s popularity was that it covered topics and themes no other play addressed. 

America responded well to this William’s brilliant representation of multicultural working-class life in the southern United States. 

Many critics consider the play ahead of its time because they see Blanche’s characterization matching America’s stereotypes of gay men. 

During his era, Willians most likely would not have found success writing about an openly gay man, so many believe he used Blanche to share an untold narrative. 

Why do people admire the literary styles used in A Streetcar Named Desire?

Authors have been creating dialogue for their characters since humans tell stories. 

Tennessee Williams did an excellent job differentiating his characters based on their speech. 

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From the long-winded response of Blanche to the short working-class bursts of Stanley and his friends, Williams uses the language of the characters to paint a picture for the reader. 

For many reasons, critics and fans of American literature consider A Street Car Named Desire a classic. 

Check out our A Street Car Named Desire quotes below to learn more. 

The best Blanche Dubois quotes about kind strangers and drinking

It is difficult to tell when Blanche Dubois is simply embellishing a story or when she loses her grip on reality. 

1. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, always depended.” — Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

2. “I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” — Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

3. “When your sister first met me, she thought I was common, well I’m common alright, common as dirt.” — Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

4. “Open your pretty mouth and talk while I look around for some liquor! I know you must have some liquor on the place! Where could it be, I wonder?” — Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

5. “I thought you would never come back to this horrible place! What am I saying? I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to be nice about it and say—oh, what a convenient location and such…” — Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

Short Harold Mitchel quotes about relationships and marriage

Harold “Mitch” Mitchel is the classic nice guy who is also naïve. 

Here are some of his most memorable quotes. 

6. “I don’t think I want to marry you anymore.” — Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire

7. “Poker should not be played in a house with women.” — Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire

8. “I guess we must strike you as being a pretty rough bunch.” — Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire

9. “You need somebody. And I need somebody, too. Could it be you and me, Blanche?” — Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire

10. “I like you to be exactly the way that you are because, in all my experience, I have never known anyone like you.” — Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire

The top Stanley Kowalski quotes about the Napoleonic Code and staying together

Stanley represents a version of the archetypal American male who abides by strict gender codes. 

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11. “Man, liquor goes fast in the hot weather. You want a shot?” — Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

12. “You showed me the snapshot of the place with the columns and how you loved it.” — Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

13. “We have the Napoleonic code, what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband.” — Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

14. “Oh, well, it’s his pleasure, like mine is movies and bridge. People have got to tolerate each other’s habits; I guess.” — Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

15. “It looks to me like you have been swindled, baby, and when you’re swindled under the Napoleonic code, I’m swindled too. And I don’t like to be swindled.” — Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

Stella Kowalski quotes about learning to find your voice

Stella is a dynamic character who gets bolder as the story goes on. 

Here are some of her quotes about finding a voice. 

16. “It isn’t on his forehead, and it isn’t genius.” — Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

17. “So, I just got in the habit of being quiet around you.” — Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

18. “This is my house, and I’ll talk as much as I want to!” — Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

19. “You never did give me a chance to say much, Blanche.” — Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

20. “I wish you’d stop taking it for granted that I’m in something I want to get out of.” — Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

Eunice Hubbell quotes about walking away from drama

21. “You done the right thing, the only thing you could do.” — Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire

22. “She couldn’t stay here; there wasn’t no other place for her to go.” — Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire

23. “You can’t beat on a woman and then call ‘er back! She won’t come! And her goin’ t’ have a baby!” — Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire

24. “Don’t ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you’ve got to keep on going.” — Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire

25. “I always did say that men are callous things with no feelings, but this does beat anything. Making pigs of yourselves.” — Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire

How is the theme of sex explored in A Streetcar Named Desire?

Sex is a significant theme in this story. 

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For added context, consider that A Streetcar Named Desire came out in 1947, which is the same year, the television Mary Kay and Johnny premiered. 

Mary Kay and Johnny was the first television series to show a married couple occupying the same bed on tv. 

A Streetcar Named Desire was breaking ground by showcasing much more than a couple sharing a bed. 

Mostly, sex is a destructive force throughout the novel. 

Obviously, the play’s rape scene centers on violence and sex. 

In an ironic, sad twist of fate, Blanche tries to use sex to recapture her youth, and it is sex that solidifies her unraveling. 

In a dark example of foreshadowing, Blanche says that sleeping with aggressive men like Stanley is the only way to deal with them. 

With her sister Stella, sex and lust are the only things that keep her marriage together. 

What is your favorite A Streetcar Named Desire quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below. 

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