A Streetcar Named Desire

The Streetcar Symbol Analysis

The Streetcar Symbol Icon
Williams called the streetcar the “ideal metaphor for the human condition.” The play’s title refers not only to a real streetcar line in New Orleans but also symbolically to the power of desire as the driving force behind the characters’ actions. Blanche’s journey on Desire through Cemeteries to Elysian Fields is both literal and allegorical. Desire is a controlling force: when it takes over, characters must submit to its power, and they are carried along to the end of the line.

The Streetcar Quotes in A Streetcar Named Desire

The A Streetcar Named Desire quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Streetcar. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sexual Desire Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the New Directions edition of A Streetcar Named Desire published in 2004.
Scene 1 Quotes

They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!

Related Characters: Blanche DuBois (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Streetcar
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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Scene 4 Quotes

What you are talking about is brutal desire–just–Desire!–the name of that rattle-trap street-car that bangs through the Quarter.

Related Characters: Blanche DuBois (speaker), Stella Kowalski
Related Symbols: The Streetcar
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

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