Human Psychology Illustrated in A Streetcar Named Desire

             Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire was a powerful play for its time. Among the play's greatest achievements is the depiction of the psychology of working class characters. In plays of the time, depictions of working class life tended to focus on social commentary or a kind of documentary drama. Williams' play sought to depict working-class characters as psychologically evolved. He tries to portray these blue-collar characters on their own terms, without romanticizing them. The characters Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski are prime examples of how Williams illustrates human psychology and emotion.
             The psychology of humans is illustrated by Blanche’s frail psychological state. Blanche is a character possessing relatively low self-esteem. She depends on male admiration for her sense of self-esteem. She dwells in illusion; fantasy is her primary means of self-defense, she has nothing else to turn to. She cannot deal with the truth head on, so she retreats to her fantasies, which protect her from the tragedies that she has had to endure.
             Stanley reveals the psychology of humans in a different manner. Stanley represents a very unrefined man, an idea of man untouched by civilization and its influences. He has the ability to be incredibly cruel, in fact he is merciless, and knows no remorse for his brutal actions. Stanley’s active hatred towards Blanche is evident throughout the play, especially in his birthday gift to her, his sabotage of her relationship with Mitch, and his raping her.
             Human psychology in A Streetcar Named Desire is not represented as an innocent thing; on the contrary, it is more so represented as a tool that aids people in committing unspeakable acts. Stanley has the psychology of a primitive man; it is represented well through the actions he performs in the play, especially his actions towards Blanche. Blanche has the psychology of a needy woman; she wants to be loved, but can neve...

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Human Psychology Illustrated in A Streetcar Named Desire. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:12, January 22, 2017, from