The Interrelationship of Characters and Themes In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire In Williams' Streetcar Named Desire the characters represent two opposing themes. These themes are of illusion and reality. The two characters that demonstrate these themes are Blanche, and Stanley. Blanche represents the theme of Illusion, with her lies, and excuses. Stanley demonstrates the theme of reality with his straightforward vulgar ness. Tennessee Williams uses these characters effectively to demonstrate these themes, while also using music and background characters to reinforce one another.
In this play the character blanche exhibits the theme of illusion. Blanche came from a rocky past. Her young husband killed himself and left her with a big space in her heart to fill. Blanche tried to fill this space with the comfort of strangers and at one time a young boy. She was forced to leave her hometown. When she arrives in New Orleans, she immediately begins to lie and give false stories.
She takes many hot bathes, in an effort to cleanse herself of her past. Blanche tries also to stay out of bright lights. She covers the light bulb (light=reality) in the apartment with a paper lantern. This shows her unwillingness to face reality but instead live in an illusion. She also describes how she tells what should be the truth. This is a sad excuse for covering/lying about the sinful things she has done. Furthermore, throughout the story she repeatedly drinks when she begins to be faced with facts. All these examples, covering light, lying, and alcoholism show how she is not in touch with reality but instead living in a fantasy world of illusion.
The character Stanley represents the theme of reality. Stanley Kowalski is the simple blue-collar husband of Stella. His actions, reactions, and words show reality in its harshest most purist form. His actions are similar to a primitive human. For example he doesn't close the door when he uses the restroom. This rudeness represents the harsh reality that Blanche refuses to accept. Moreover, when he was drunk he hit Stella. This attack on Blanches sister could be a symbolic "wake up" slap to the face of Blanche. In addition, he speaks without fancy words or optimism. He speaks the cruel reality.
First Blanche exhibits the theme of illusion. Throughout the play she continually lies and deceives. She loses touch with reality and lives in a fantasy world. Next, Stanley demonstrates the theme of reality. His rude behaviors, vulgar language and unwillingness to accept Blanches stories, shows reality. In conclusion the characters Blanche and Stanley demonstrate two contrasting themes of illusion and reality.