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Characters: A Streetcar Named Desire

Here be the main characters from A Streetcar Named Desire and the tropes they embody.


Blanche Dubois

  • Break the Haughty: Blanche is quite proud of her rich family background and her Southern Belle status, but their property is lost and her looks are fading away. She stays with her younger married sister whose husband doesn't get well with Blanche. And it gets only worse...
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Blanche prefers the world of her own creation, where she still is a chaste lady of refinement and she still can win the favors of men like Shep Huntleigh (whom we never meet and might not exist). This is highlighted when Stanley is revealing her falsehoods to Stella and Blanche is singing in the bath: "Say, its only a paper moon/Sailing over a cardboard sea/But it wouldn't be make-believe/If you believed in me." Unfortunately, by the end of the play this make-believe world is the only world she can stand to live in.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Blance desperately desires to be touched and fears it as well.
  • Hot for Student: She had an affair with a teenage student. This was why she was fired.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Blanche isn't calling Stanley a 'Polack', or deriding Stella for marrying him, Blanche can potentially be a genuinely nice person. For example, she's quick to help Stella after Stanley attacks her, and is greatly fearful for her welfare when she chooses to return to him.
  • Meaningful Name: As Blanche herself tells to Mitch, her name means "white woods" in French.
  • Old Maid: Modern equivalent. She was married, but it's implied her husband was homosexual. She would like to get married again. She is still fairly good-looking, but is not happy about the fact that she might not be aging gracefully.
  • Southern Belle: Blanche is a Southern Belle in the 20th century, a fading relic of a bygone age.

Stanley Kowalski

  • Berserk Button: More than a few, but especially being called a Polack.
  • Karma Houdini: He gets off completely scot-free in the original play. The movie has Stella leave him, but he probably deserved worse than that.

Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell

STELLLAAAAA!! Kowalski

  • In Love with Your Carnage: The reason Stella doesn't leave Stanley, though violence toward other people crosses the line for her.
  • Stellar Name: Stella means "a star" in Latin. Lampshaded by Blanche when she arrives to the Kowalskis.