"A Streetcar Named Desire" is an American play written by Tennessee Williams, written in 1947. This paper will highlight the relationship between love and desire as highlighted in the paper. There are four important characters in the play and these include Blanche, Stanley, Mitch, and Stella. Love and desire will be highlighted in the light of these four characters.
Blanche is the elder sister of Stella. The loaners have confiscated all her riches and property and she has been left with nothing to live. In spite of losing all her money and family riches, Blanche still lives under an illusion of being rich and authoritative. This illusion lets her attract and lie to men. A woman of thirty living under the illusions of being pretty and still attractive, she desires more men to be attracted to her. One of the main reasons based on which Blanche keeps living under the illusion is her awareness of the fact that she is getting old and losing her attraction. While desiring for more men, she looks and demands compliments in relation to her beauty and grace. With her losing her grace, there is an increase in her anxiety and to reduce her increasing anxiety, she seeks compliments from other men. The story has shown that the marriage of Blanche went into ruins as she discovered her husband being a homosexual. After this discovery, her husband commits suicide. After this, Blanche started teaching English in one of the high schools from where she was forced to leave the high school after the school authorities discovered her promiscuous marvels (Williams 45). Blanche was found to have an affair with one of the students in the schools. The first phase of Blanche's life is a clear reflection of the difference between love and desire. There are many examples of the life of lies being lived by Blanche. Blanche lying to her and others has spent many years. Blanche desired temporary relationships with other men seeking kindness and compliments from the others. In 11th scene, Blanche says, "Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." In another scene, she says "And men don't want anything they get too easy. But on the other hand, men lose interest quickly." In another scene, she says, "Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers. After the death of Allan, intimacies with strangers were all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with."
From here, it can be seen that after the loss of her family and family money, Blanche longed for a temporary relationship with men, as she believed in the fact that after having a failed marriage, she desired men for temporary closeness and compliments.
After leaving the school, from Mississippi, she moves to New Orleans to her married sister's apartment, where Blanche lives the second phase of her life. Living in her fantasy life, she faces reality when she sees intense love in her sister's married life. Blanche opposes Stella's husband, Stanley. She objects to the commonness of Stanley. In one of the scenes, Blanche talks about Stanley as, "He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one."
There is an increased passionate love between Stanley and Stella that makes Blanche more conscious. As Blanche is more desperate for attention and compliments of her physical existence and beauty, being in her sister's home, she still demands attention. Being desperate for compliments, completion and attraction, Blanche, ignoring the existence of relationship with her sister, starts with desire Stanley. In one of the scenes, Blanche says to Stella, "I called him a little boy and laughed and flirted. Yes, I was flirting with your husband" (Williams 90).
Blanche's desires become so overwhelming that she begins to intervene in the personal and passionate love life of her sister. Blanche begins to flirt with Stanley knows that Stanley is attracted like animals towards her sister.
The honesty and an intensity of a legal relationship that is seen between Stella and her husband Stanley makes Blanche more conscious of her existence. The safety and security that Stella has with Stanley makes Blanche more envious of her life. This is the phase of Blanche's life that lets reality slip off her hands.
One of the other main facts that need to be mentioned here is that Blanche has stopped believing in true relationships that are based on true love. According to Blanche, the only better relationship with the men can be sexual. As in one of the scenes, Blanche says to Stella, "What such a man has to offer is animal force. However, the only way to live with such a man is to go to bed with him! And that's your job, not mine!" (Williams 98).
While reading the play, it can be seen that the marital freedom that is being enjoyed by Stella pinches Blanche as Stella can have sexual freedom in a greater manner as compared to the illegal sexual life of Blanche herself. However, one of the main facts that need to be mentioned here is that based on promiscuous behavior of Blanche and Stanley releases an increased sexual attraction between Blanche and Stanley, the sexual tension when he physically abuses Blanche telling her that they have "had this date with each other from the beginning." This is another important example of a great difference that exists between love and desire. The author had mentioned in many ways that there is an increased sexuality in Stanley and he uses it on Stella. But, the attraction that Blanche has for Stanley is pure desire, rather love.
Stella can be seen as one of the most important mediating points in an increasing sexual tension between Stanley and Blanche. From the battle and conflicts that go on between Stanley and Blanche, it can be seen that the battle between the two is to see who wins over the heart of Stella and gains her increased attraction. In one of the scenes, when Blanche rails against Stanley, he keeps standing outside and as soon as he enters the house, Stella embraces Stanley with love in front of Blanche. Stella is the one who keeps defending her sister and this keeps on arguing until he reveals her promiscuous past to Stella (Williams 76). In spite of the fact that Stella comes to know of her bitter past and reality, Stella keeps standing by the side of Blanche as Stella realizes the fact of loneliness of Blanche. Stanley presents much stronger evidences but Stella refuses to believe on all these evidences saying to Stanley, "You didn't know Blanche as a girl, nobody, and nobody, was tender and trusting as she was." On the other hand, the pain that has been faced by Blanche is more acknowledged by Stella being her sister. In one scene, she refers to the conversation that once occurred between her and Blanche is referring to the after effects being faced by Blanche after her husband's suicide, "And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that's stronger than this kitchen candle."
These are some of the facts that point towards the loyalty, love and kindness that Stella has for her sister. The image that Stella has for her sister is from her childhood and this is the positive image that keeps Stella reminding her of her love for Blanche. There are a number of places in the play where Stella's love is evident for her sister. One of the main evidence is when Stella sends her sister to a correctional institute thinking that she will get better in the future. These are some of the evidences that have highlighted that Stella loved her sister and her husband with no conditions. There is no element of desire being seen in this case. The strength of bondage that is seen between Stella and Blanche and between Stella and Stanley is a classic example of love, rather desire. Thereby, here it can be added that desire stands much differently as compared to love. Love stands far apart from desire in this play; there is no overlapping of either one in the play. In the case of the relationship between Stella and Stanley, love overlaps and complements desire (Williams 54).
Mitch comes into Blanche's life in her second phase. This relationship truly highlights the bind of desire that the two have to be with each other. The bond that exists between Mitch and Blanche is defined by the mutual loneliness that the two have. The bond that the two have with each other in the play is more defined by the desire that the two have to be away from their past and the pain that the two have faced. Thereby, there are many reasons based on which this relationship exists in the play. To have…