It amazes me how few people young people have actually read through "A Streetcar Named Desire". Tennessee Williams is certainly one of America's trademark playwrites of the past century, along with Arthur Miller. His stories are timeless and his characters are unforgettable.
The immortal character of Blanche DuBois is a classic icon, a woman who's lost not only her material wealth but her virtue. In her last attempt to hold onto some shred of happiness, she goes to stay with her sister, Stella, and Stella's working class husband, Stanley Kowalski. Blanche's fortune has been lost, but she attempts to maintain her dignity and stature as a debutant. Stanley however, is repulsed by the fallen woman, convinced she is not only snobby, but hiding Stella's share of the family fortune. What he discovers is that Blanche has created quite a reputation by having numerous affairs with random men in the surrounding communities. To spite her, he ruins her last chance at getting married and pushes her into the realm of insanity.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a blunt look at the violence of lower class life and how it clashes with the upperclass. Everyone should read this American classic once, if not for the historical benefit, but for amazing dialogues that have been quoted over the years. At this point, pretty everyone knows the phrase, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers", but few realize its origin or the context in which it was spoken. I think its about time everyone knew.