A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Scene One: It is the exterior of a two story corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L&N tracks and the river. It is an evening in early May. Two women, one white and one colored, are taking the air on the steps of the building. The white woman is Eunice Hubbell; the colored woman is a neighbor. Stanley Kowalski and Mitch, each about thirty and dressed in denim work clothes, come around the corner. Stanley carries his bowling jacket and a red-stained package from a butcher's Stanley bellows to Stella, who comes out on the first floor landing. Her background is far different from his. She tells him not to holler at her, and he throws the meat up to her. He tells her that he is going bowling, and she asks if she can come watch. He permits her. She asks Eunice how she is. Blanche comes around the corner, carrying a valise. She looks at a slip of paper, then at the building with disbelief. She is about five years older than Stella and looks delicately beautiful. She wears white. Blanche tells Eunice that they told her to take a street-car named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and get off at Elysian Fields. She says that she is looking for her sister, Stella. The Negro woman goes to tell Stella that she has come. Eunice lets her into Stella's apartment. Eunice knew from Stella that Blanche was from Mississippi and taught school. She saw a picture of her home-place, Belle Reve. Eunice leaves, and Blanche sits in a chair stiffly with her shoulders slightly hunched. A cat screetches. Blanche has a glass of whiskey. Stella arrives, and the two embrace. She tells Stella not to look at her until she has bathed and rested, and she wants the over-light turned off so she won't be in the merciless glare. Blanche wants to know why she wasn't told about her sister's conditions. Blanche says that Stella is all that she has, and she's not happy to see her. Blanche was able to leave because Mr. Graves, the high school superintendent, suggested she take a leave of absence. Blanche notices that Stella has been putting on weight. Blanche worries about where she is going to stay. Blanche worries that Stanley will not be decent. Blanche says that she cannot be alone and worries that Stanley will not like her. Stella shows her a picture of Stanley when he was a Master Sergeant in the Engineers' Corps. Stanley spends a great deal of time away. Blanche tells that Belle Reve is lost, for it was expensive covering for so many deaths. Blanche realizes that Stella is crying. Stanley and Steve return, talking about playing poker. Blanche introduces herself to him. She tells him that she lives in Laurel. Stanley removes his shirt, and mentions how Blanche was married once. She says that the boy died, and feels that she's going to be sick.

Scene Two: It is six the following evening. Blanche is bathing. Stella is completing her toilette. Stella tells Stanley that she is taking Blanche to Galatoire's for supper and then to a show. She tells Stanley to be considerate about her appearance. Stanley wonders what happened to Belle Reve, and feels that he has been swindled. Stanley notices Blanche's fancy clothing and asks Stella how she paid for it. He continues, looking at her jewelry. Stella becomes angry at Stanley. Blanche says to Stanley that she understands there is a little card party to which ladies are cordially not invited. Blanche asks Stanley to button her up, and she tells him that clothes are her passion. She says that once she was considered to be attractive. Stanley says that he doesn't compliment women about their looks because they know how they look themselves. Stanley explains the Napoleonic Code to Blanche. Blanche denies that she cheated her sister. Stanley finds her love letters, yellowing from antiquity from one boy. Belle Reve was lost on a mortgage. Blanche gives Stanley the papers to figure out their situation. Stanley tells Blanche that Stella is pregnant.

Scene Three: The Poker Night There is a picture of Van Gogh's of a billard-parlor at night. The pker players wear colored shirts, solid blues, a purple, a red-and-white check, a light green, as they are men at the peak of their physical manhood. Steve, Mitch, Stanley, and Pablo are playing poker. Mitch says

a Caribbean cruise on a yacht. Blanche tells Stanley that he is from Dallas (not Miami). Stanley begins to remove his shirt, so Blanche orders him to close the curtains. Stanley goes to the bureau and gets out a pair of silk pyjamas he wore in his wedding night. Blanche tells Stanley that Mitch came back with a box of roses, but she would nto forgive him. Stanley catches her in the lie, and tells her that there was no wire. Blanche goes to the phone to call Shep. Stanley refuses to move to let her leave. Blanche breaks a bottle on the table and threatens her. Stanley attacks her.

Scene Eleven: It is several weeks later. Stella is packing Blanche's things. There is a poker game. Eunice comes down the steps and enters the kitchen. Stella tells Eunice that she has made arrangements for Blanche to rest in the country. Blanche asks if she has gotten a call from Shep Huntleigh. Mitch begins to gaze off into space rather than play poker. Blanche refuses to eat a grape that hasn't been washed. She thinks that something like that will kill her. A doctor and a matron appear at the corner and climb the steps to the porch. Blanche refuses to go with him. She tries to escape. They take Blanche away. Stella begins to sob. Stanley comforts her while the others continue with the poker game.