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Streetcar Named Desire: Human Condition

            Life is an illusion created by a person’s desires. Whether it be a need to be loved, a wish to be admired, or the fulfillment of sexual requirements, a person can easily lose sight of reality and create a misapprehension of the life he or she is truly leading which results in creating a fragile subconscious that avoids the real world. In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams creates characters motivated by desire. He is able to capture themes, such as loneliness, to create a universality emerging from the work. Furthermore, by creating a diverse cast of characters, he is also displaying his keen sense of the human condition and the fragility of life.
             This universal theme of loneliness is one to which various readers can relate. Although many people may not have specifically experienced Blanche's loss of Belle Reve or the loss of Allan, many can relate to her painful loneliness that stems from her unfulfilled desire to be loved. When she first arrives at Elysian Fields, Blanche is lonely. As she tells Stella, "You’re all I’ve got in the world" (1983). Mitch also conveys the sentiment of loneliness as he and Blanche are talking in Scene 6, “You need somebody. And I need somebody, too” (2019). This theme is also displayed earlier in Blanche and Mitch’s conversation when Blanche says to Mitch, “You will be lonely when she passes on, won’t you” (2017). The tension and conflict resulting from the unfulfilled search for love while combating loneliness, is a common human experience.
             One of the key elements of this play is Williams’ use of characterization. In Scene 3, Stanley’s main characteristics are defined as he displays his need for power by jumping up to turn off the radio and trying to keep Mitch in the poker game. The explosion he unleashes in this scene prepares readers for the barbaric behavior he displays in scene 7 when he exposes Blanche and they engage in sexual activity.