Book #5 of the 2015 Reading Challenge – A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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Read a play. Read a book that became a movie.

I read this play some years ago when I was at University in Denmark. Maybe I even read it in school as a teenager – I don’t remember. I just realized that I like reading plays. You get a good story that’s quick and easy to read. This one is a classic, no doubt, by Tennessee Williams that I picked up after reading that it took place in New Orleans, a city that I’m hoping to visit this year.

Honestly, until I read it I’d completely forgotten what it was about. Just goes to show how quickly one can forget the knowledge acquired at school!

You can find the play in PDF form online – just Google it. I transferred it to my Kindle so I could read it on my iPad, and it’s easily read in a few hours. The play is very dramatic, a story of loss, loneliness, love, dreams, secrets, lies, a story of two sisters…and desire. This word “desire” pops up in several places in the play. It’s the name of the screetcar that brings Blance DuBois to her sister Stella’s apartment at 632 Elysian Fields…

They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields!

Desire, however, isn’t just the name of the streetcar, but an underlying theme and emotion that runs throughout the play and comes across the main characters, who are all very passionate and in their own, unique ways filled with desire.

It’s a story that develops rapidly and reaches a dramatic and surprising culmination that you wouldn’t be able to guess until you’ve read it. Dark secrets about Blance soon unfold and tension between the characters ignite flames and have dangerous outcomes.

Tennessee Williams received the Pulitzer Price for drama in 1948 for this play, which opened on Broadway in 1947 and became a movie starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in 1951.

A fantastic read, if you have a few hours to kill.

 

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