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A Streetcar Named Desire (Heinemann Plays For 14-16+) Hardcover – 9 Jan 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; New Ed edition (9 Jan. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435233106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435233105
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Lyrical and poetic and human and heartbreaking and memorable and funny.--Francis Ford Coppola

About the Author

Tennessee Williams, born Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi won Pulitzer Prizes for his dramas, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other plays include The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Suddenly Last Summer, Sweet Bird of Youth and Night of the Iguana. He also wrote a number of one-act plays, short stories, poems and two novels, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Moishe and the Age of Reason. He died in 1983 at the age of 72.

Arthur Miller was one of the most acclaimed and influential playwrights of the twentieth century, whose notable works include The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, A View From The Bridge and All My Sons, all of which are available in full cast recordings from L.A. Theatre Works. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragic, poignant and beautiful play written by the famous American playwright Tennenessee Williams. The play is set in New Orleans and revolves around the central character Blanche Dubois who is an insecure,once rich, romantic, fading southern belle. She visits her sister Stella, who has married Stanley, a crude and sexually predatory immigrant, a total contrast in temproment and class, who immensly dislikes Blanche. As the play unfolds it is apparent that Blanche's past is not exatly what it seems and the play snowballs to a tragic climax. The vivid language and suggested music that is used in this play is what makes the action so intense and the story so gripping. The central characters are all so different and well drawn, each having different weaknesses and strengths that make them bith both likable and dislikable. The readers sympathy, as intended I feel, must lie with Blanche as it becomes apparent that despite all her coquettish boasting she is a victim of society's expectations. Her desperation to find love again to forget a tragic past and her insecurities about growing old are are very human emotions and make her a heroine to be empathized with. I find this play extremely moving but also enjoy the pace and drama of the play. Williams creates an atmosphere and characters that are disturbingly real on the page. This I feel is Williams finest play and i would recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
I am reading this for an AS English Literature course and have to say that whilst it is written with incredibly emotive and visual stage directions I found the actual story quite painful to read.

The story is based on the inter-relationships of three people. Blanche Dubois, an aristocratic well brought up woman who has definitely fallen on hard times and is having a difficult time dealing with the realities around her. She is a fragile creature in a hard world, a butterfly in a land of beasts. Blanche exhibits a strange double standard; on the one hand she appears otherworldly and untouched by man but as the story unfolds we discover that she has seen more than her fair share of pain, death and corruption. This wreaks a dreadful toll on a woman who is constantly grateful for the kindness of strangers.

The other two characters are Stella and her loutish husband Stanley Kowalski. Stanley is a neanderthol, a barbarous ape with a huge ego. He isn't stupid, as he soon finds out the truth about Blanche and knows his rights but he is so very masculine that I felt that I would have difficulty being in the same room as such a man who owns the very air around him. Stella, in comparison with her sister is a calmer character, more accepting of her fate and with the world. She truly loves her husband, brutish and base as he is. She is torn between love for him and her sisterly fealty.

I won't reveal the end. This is a book that must be read and a play that must be seen to be fully understood and appreciated. I loved the casting of Vivien Leigh, who did indeed go on to become a frail butterfly, and the animal magnetism of Marlon Brando. I hope anyone reading this will enjoy A Streetcar Named Desire also.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw the film years ago! Of course, this is not a novel but a play, and so, you get a script to read? No problem! A couple of pages and you're into it. This is such a great story - believe me!
Blanc is a wonderful character and must be a riot to play, her dialogue is just superb, putting a class barrier of extreme proportions, between her and the working class hero, Stanley, - who actually, is quite rough around the edges, though he does have some logic in the way he works things through?
Stella is loyal to all, happy, a little naïve and a bit of a brick all round. Mitch is a nice guy but eventually ends up heartbroken.
Great characters, great storyline, wonderfully descriptive writing and whilst we couldn't hear the music and see the graphics, it still comes over crystal clear - no wonder it's a classic. I loved it. Finally, just read through the lovely expressions in the glossary - bobby-soxer, red hots, monkey doings, turn the trick, epic fortifications! - just brilliant dialogue!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arguably Tennessee Williams' best loved and most popular play, 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is guaranteed to grip you from start to finish.

Set in 1950s New Orleans, the highly pretentious Miss Blanche Dubois visits her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Blanche, "virtuous", sensitive and 'moth-like' is a cultured antithesis of Stanley with his overt sensuality and primal behaviour, providing the audience with a wonderful drama of emotions.

Williams cleverly unravels Blanche's shocking history through Stanley, whose determined investigations reveal her past mistakes from her inability to receive closure from her young husband's death. The delightful use of explicit and precise stage directions results in a fantastic array of tension-building music, dramatic irony and intricately inter-woven symbolism.

The eleven scenes span over a long period of time, condensing the play into major dramatic events which intensify the emotions of both the characters and the audience. This is futher affirmed by the small set - the tiny apartment bespeaks confinement, accentuating the emotional density and the power and menace of Stanley's physical presence.

As the loss of literature, language, music and culture (everything that Blanche epitomises) is replaced with desire and lust, Blanche slowly 'fades' into her illusions; unable to cope with a changing world and ultimately losing her grip on sanity altogether.

Peter Shaffer wrote of Williams: "He could not write a dull scene." I could not agree more; 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is rightfully one of the best pieces of modern American literature as it will undoubtably be remembered, discussed and enjoyed for years to come.

Emma Stimson, A-level student.
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