How did 'A Streetcar Named Desire' shape America?

Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski on the set of the stage version of 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1948.
Library of Congress via Wikipedia

Playwright Tennessee Williams was awarded four Drama Critic Circle Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, so it's no surprise one of his plays ended up on the Library of Congress' list of 88 Books that Shaped America. Today we take a closer look at the legendary play "A Streetcar Named Desire."

The Library of Congress had this to say about it:

A landmark work, which won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 'A Streetcar Named Desire' thrilled and shocked audiences with its melodramatic look at a clash of cultures. These cultures are embodied in the two main characters--Blanche DuBois, a fading Southern belle whose genteel pretensions thinly mask alcoholism and delusions of grandeur, and Stanley Kowalski, a representative of the industrial, urban working class. Marlon Brando's portrayal of the brutish and sensual Stanley in both the original stage production and the film adaptation has become an icon of American culture.

David Kaplan, curator and co-founder of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday. Stephen C. Byrd, theater producer and founder of Front Row Productions, Inc., will also join the discussion.

VIDEO: Highlights From "A Streetcar Named Desire"

What classic should we read next? Comment on the blog.

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