A Streetcar Named Desire: A Very Human Story

         The 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' 1947 A Streetcar Named Desire paints a very human picture of existence in the post-World-War-Two town of New Orleans.

         Blanche (Vivien Leigh) arrives on the doorstep of her sister, Stella (Kim Hunter), and her husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando) looking for a place to stay, saying that she had "lost" her old home. Shortly after, Stanley begins questioning Blanche's real motives, while Blanche sees a pattern of abuse from Stanley that Stella is seemingly blind to. This is a pattern of events that is realistic in the human condition and all too often happens in homes everywhere.

         Near the end of the movie, Blanche's deceit is slowly revealed. Again, this shows the picture's human side as Harold "Mitch" Mitchell (Karl Malden) refuses to believe Stanley's accusations at first but begins to discover that they are true once he begins his own investigation into the matter. "Mitch" is hurt by this, as most humans would be, and it paves the way for his eventual rejection of her.

         Finally, Blanche is overcome by her increasing madness, increased by losing "Mitch" and being raped by Stanley. Realizing that Stanley is more or less responsible for this, Stella leaves him, as she does not do in the original story. This sad ending, again, shows that the production has a human side in that she finally decides to accept her responsibility as a fully functioning human adult who can fend for herself without being an abused doormat.

         A Streetcar Named Desire was critically acclaimed, and for good reason. It takes an unfortunate tale and adds just the right human touch to make it worthy of anyone's time.

Jeremiah Franklin

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