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Andres Aranda
Professor Michail
English 211
May 8, 2015
Differences of A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire set its scenes in different scenarios, both the movie and the
play. The play opens up at the Kowalskis apartment for almost the entire play. However, the
movie, A Streetcar Named Desire directed by Elia Kazan, 1951 shows scenes never mentioned in
the play, such as the train station and the surroundings of the streets. The characters and the
overall story are the same. Some of the characters dialogue was altered or changed in the movie
due to censorship. Tennessee Williams, the writer of the play, used sexual content or explicit
language, which prevented his play from going to a full and uncut version in the movie. At that
time, certain aspects of language and physical intimacy were either forbidden by law, or were
just simply not acceptable around the society. The differences between the play and the movie
are based on Blanches story because she is the main character of the play. These differences are
related to places, dialogue, characterization, and sexual content that were excluded from the
movie due to censorship, homosexuality, and moral differences.
Some of these edited scenes happened in places that are brief or not mentioned in the play
and dialogues that are excluded from the play. For instance, the time when Blanche and Mitch
went out, they happened to be at the pier of a dance casino, where Blanche told Mitch that her
husband committed suicide after she found out he was homosexual. Blanche states, Then I
found out. In the worst of all possible ways. By coming suddenly into a room that I thought was
empty which wasnt empty, but had two people in itthe boy I had married and an older man
who had been his friend for years (Scene VI). This part was excluded from the movie because
homosexuality was seen as disease to society. Tennessee Williams tries to portray a little of his
personal life in the play because he was gay. Unfortunately, this could not be brought up in the

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movie because it wasnt allowed. Another example is during Blanches birthday when Stanley
Kowalski tells Estella that he has told Mitch about Blanches past. Stanley states, Youre
goddamn right I told him! Id have that on my conscience the rest of my life if I knew all that
stuff and let my best friend get caught! (Scene VII). In the movie, this scene takes place at the
factory where Stanley and Mitch work. Unlike the movie, this scene is not mentioned in the play.
Any content about homosexuality were not allowed in the films at that time. Also, places are
created out of the dialogue from the play to make it into the movie.
Blanche is the main character in the play as well as in the movie, her role did not change,
but the place that she was from did change. Blanche was a school teacher from Laurel,
Mississippi, however, in the movie she is from Auriol, Mississippi, which is a fictional place.
There is no explanation as to why the town where Blanche was from has to be changed.
Probably, it was necessary to recreate a fictional place as the characters were fictional too.
Another place is the casino where Blanche tells Mitch about the story of her ex husband and the
cause of death. The text does tell this scene, but it did not mention the place where this happened.
The text states, They have probably been out to the amusement park on Lake Pontchartrain, for
Mitch is bearing, upside down, a plaster statuette of Mae West, the sort of prize won at shooting
galleries and carnival games of chance (Scene VI). It was important to add this place to the
movie from the play as it is the perfect support for the death of Blanches husband.
In scene V the newspaper boy came to the Kowalskis house to collect money for the
newspaper. Blanche felt an immediate attraction towards the young boy as she begins flirting
with him. In addition, Blanche tries to continue the conversation to prevent the boy from leaving.
This is the general idea for both, the text and the movie as well. However, the boys reaction to
Blanches approach towards him is quite different from the movie. In the play, the boy seems
uneasy and scared when Blanche approaches him. In this scene, the boy clearly wants to leave

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the house as stated in the text, The young man clears his throat and looks yearningly at the
door (Scene 5). In the movie the boy doesnt seem to feel intimidated when Blanche approaches
him as he never takes his eyes off Blanche. The boy does not seem bothered when Blanche
compliments him. Moreover, he does not try to stop Blanche when she kisses him. The movie
adds a major development in the characterization of the characters. This characterization gives
the characters the freedom to show their feelings and facial expressions throughout the movie.
This new adaptation gives the characters a lively role in the play.
Character portrayal was a big factor when making the play into a movie, which leads to a
different ending in the movie compared to the play. In the play, the audience can picture
Blanches desperation to prevent Stanley from raping her. Overpowered by Stanley, the play
tells, He springs toward her, overturning the table. She cries out and strikes at him with the
bottle top but he catches her wrist (Scene X). However, in the movie, Blanche does not show
any emotions or seems scared before Stanley rapes her. This type of censorship during the 1950s
saw film industry developed a system of self censorship, which perpetuated immoral
relationships between characters. In the film industry, this play had morally ambiguous
characters. In some way, it seems that Blanche and Stanley shares a sexual attraction to each
other since the day they met. Their interactions and looks in their eyes when being alone shows a
sign of attraction, something that the play did not mention or the audience could not picture
through Blanches feelings.
Blanches characterization about her personality is different in the movie than it is in the
play. In the movie, Blanche seems like a very sexual character, her attraction to younger men and
feeling desired by Mitch. The play shows a different side of Blanche such as being haughty,
snooty person, and that she is in a higher social class than everyone else. Her sister Estella even
questioned that she is being superior to others. Estella says, Then dont you think your superior

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attitude is a bit out of the place? (Scene IV). Blanche always mentioned and suggest to Estella
about leaving that town and Stanley because they are not at their level. The movie also shows the
way Blanche interacts with men when talking and looking at them. This is very contradictory, as
her mannerisms and behavior are different from the play. The characterization shows that a
physical character can portray a different personality by its looks and behavior.
The ending of the play and the movie are different because of the way how Stanley
treated Blanche. In both, the play and the movie, Blanches younger sister, Estella, saw when her
sister was being taken away by a doctor. Estella cries and feels bad that she couldnt do anything
to help her sister out. In the movie, Estella regrets being with Stanley and she decided to leave
him alone and leave with her baby. The ending for Stanley takes two different paths in the movie
and the play. This is meant to be a punishment to Stanley for his rudeness, selfishness, cruelty,
and all the pain that he causes to Blanche. Unlike the movie, the text shows a different
personality of Estella, as she is in desperate need of support when she sees her sister taken away
by a doctor. At that moment, Stanley is by her side comforting her. Even though, Blanche tells
Estella that she was raped by Stanley, she stood by her husbands side. Estella believes Blanches
accusations, however, she believes in her husband because she does not want to be left alone.
The reader believes that Stanley deserves to be punished for everything he did to Blanche. As the
scene when he rapes Blanche has to be cut off due to censorship, the audience understands what
happened at that moment. Therefore, a different ending was needed to give the audience an
understanding that Stanleys punishment is justified.
The play and the movie show some minor differences such as places and sexual content,
and some major differences in characterization and homosexuality. These edited scenes were
justified in the end, as the ending is Hollywood style. The movie makes up places that it was not
mentioned in the play. Places have to be created so that every major scene occurs at a place that

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goes along with it. Sexual content was something that was not allowed to show in Hollywood at
the time because of moral beliefs. Characterization was a major development in the movie, as
some of the things said in some scenes dont go along with the play. This means that the
Hollywood actors portray a different personification than from the play even though the dialogue
is the same. As a final point, homosexuality was also considered non desirable content to be
exposed in public or theaters at that time. These differences were good, as the ending in the
movie Stanley has what he deserves.

Works cited
1. The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2010. Web. 5/08/2015.