Desire, love, and fantasy are concepts from A Streetcar Named Desire that attribute to the demise of one of the main characters, Blanche Dubois. All of these are connected because desire can potentially lead to love and love is an outcome of fantasy. Fantasy is important aspect of Tennessee Williams play even though reality always wins against fantasy. She explains to Mitch on one scene that she sometimes lies so she does not have to deal with the hand fate has dealt her. Blanche is also an insecure person. She is a Southern Belle who is constantly thinking about the way her beauty is fading.
On the concept of fantasy, one of the most notable quotes in A Streetcar Named Desire is when Blanche says “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” (Williams 145). This shows how Blanche has her own fantasies that prevents her from experiencing reality. She believes the world can be as kind and good as she can imagine it. She also believes that everyone she loves is incapable of cruelty which is part of the fantasy (or illusion) that she is experiencing. In Scene Nine, when the Mexican woman appears selling “flowers for the dead,” Blanche reacts with horror because the woman announces Blanche’s fate. Her fall into madness can be read as the ending brought about by her dual flaws—her inability to act appropriately on her desire and her desperate fear of human mortality.
In Scene One, it is foreshadowed that Blanche’s demise was caused by her sexual history. After arriving at the Kowalskis’, Blanche says she rode a streetcar named Desire, then transferred to a streetcar named Cemeteries, which brought her to a street named Elysian Fields. Blanche states, “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!” She says this to Eunice before arriving at the Kowalskis. This journey is a metaphorical representation of the course of Blanche’s’ life. The Elysian Fields are the land of the dead in Greek mythology. Blanche’s sexual desires are eventually what leads to her eviction from Belle Reve and her not being accepted by society as a whole.
Blanche’s last statement in the play shows how she perceives reality only how she wants to see it. This is associated with her philosophy of fantasy. She says “Whoever you are—I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” She is speaking to the doctor in this scene and she perceives him a gentlemen but he is actually not that type of person. Also, she has not done that well in life because of the fact that she relies on “the kindness of strangers.”