My Back Pages: A Streetcar Named Desire

I have a feeling that I read Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” before I ever saw the film adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. I seem to remember checking out some Williams plays from the public library one summer during my teen years, since I’d enjoyed reading “The Glass Menagerie” for school and wanted to know more of his work.

Re-reading the play years later, and seeing the masterful film version as an adult woman, I feel a heart-wrenching sympathy for the fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois. She’s a tragic figure, with all her deceptions and vanities and her reluctance to look harsh reality in the face. “I don’t want realism,” she cries. “I want magic!”

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