Not only did he give it a name that provokes subtle intrigue, but what the title represents and the literary meaning that could be “read” into its meaning stay true to the plot, settings, and characters In the play. One can imagine the scenes one sees as he/she is riding along In a streetcar. Through the dirty wavy glass, the life and goings-on outside seem surreal. The character Balance sums It up well when attempts to explain herself to Mitch, “l don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic!
I try to give that to people. I serpentine things to them. I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth. ” (Williams, Scene Nine, Pl 17) In the play the audience may never see the “real” truth. Like life, there are several versions to choose from and the most real Is seldom seen through one “snap-shot” perspective, tainted by dirty glass. The second physical manifestation of a streetcar that resounds throughout the play Is the incredible noise and racket they produce as they pound their way across the tracks, ringing their bells.
The surroundings in the play are constantly filled with literal and advertorial noise. From the constant playing of the “blue piano” and chatter of individuals in the neighborhoods to the utter chaos of the character’s lives and relationships; this “streetcar fills the play with noise. Most interesting is how Balance came to arrive in New Orleans both factually and figuratively on a streetcar named Desire. Balance never recovered from the “noise” of her youth. From the way she was treated by others to the devastating loss of her love, she was driven to the point of self-delusion and destruction.
Her mental instabilities, driven by her desires, caused her to be cast into exile by her home town and most of the people she knew. The streetcar continues on, unrestricted by fantasy or opinion. Tennessee does not hold back on how dark desire can be. Although most of the dark noise that happens, such as Stanley beating his wife and raping Balance, seems to be attributed to alcoholism (a desire to escape reality? ), the play still shows much of the petty selfishness, lusts, and greed we all might experience as we travel along on our own streetcars.