A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, 1947
The following passage is taken from the second half of the fourth scene of the play.
1. ...Stella, I can't live with him! You can, he's your husband. But how could I stay
2. here with him, after last night, with just those curtains between us?
3. Blanche, you saw him at his worst last night
4. On the contrary, I saw him at his best! What such a man has to offer is
5. animal force and he gave a wonderful exhibition of that! But the only way to
6. live with such a man is to — go to bed with him! And that's your job — not mine!
7. After you've rested a little, you'll see it's going to work out. You don't have
8. to worry about anything while you're here. I mean — expenses...
9. I have to plan for us both, to get us both — out!
10. You take it for granted that I am in something that I want to get out of.
11. I take it for granted that you still have sufficient memory of Belle Reve to
12. find this place and these poker players impossible to live with.
13. ...I understand how it happened — a little. You saw him in uniform, an officer...
14. I'm not sure it would have made any difference where I saw him.
15. Now don't say it was one of those mysterious electric things between
16. people! If you do I'll laugh in your face.
17. ...There are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark
18. — that sort of make everything else seem — unimportant. [Pause.]
19. What you are talking about is brutal desire — just — Desire! — the name
20. of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old
21. narrow street and down another....
22. Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?
23. It brought me here. — Where I'm not wanted and where I'm ashamed to be....
24. Then don't you think your superior attitude is a bit out of place?
25. I am not being or feeling at all superior, Stella. Believe me I'm not!
26. ...A man like that is someone to go out with — once — twice —
27. three times when the devil is in you. But live with? Have a child by?
28. I have told you I love him.
29. Then I tremble for you! I just — tremble for you....
30. I can't help your trembling if you insist on trembling!
[There is a pause.]
31. May I — speak — plainly?
32. Yes, do. Go ahead. As plainly as you want to.
[Outside, a train approaches. They are silent till the noise subsides. They are both in the bedroom.
33. Under cover of the train's noise Stanley enters from outside. He stands unseen by the women,
34. holding some packages in his arms, and overhears their following conversation. He wears an
35. undershirt and grease-stained seersucker pants.]
36. Well — if you'll forgive me — he's common!
37. ...Oh, if he was just — ordinary! Just plain — but good and
38. wholesome, but — no. There's something downright — bestial — about him!
39. You're hating me saying this, aren't you?
40. Go on and say it all, Blanche.
41. He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one,
42. talks like one! There's even something — sub-human — something not quite to
43. the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something—ape-like about him, like one of
44. those pictures I've seen in—anthropological studies! Thousands and
45. thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is--Stanley
46. Kowalski — survivor of the stone age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill
47. in the jungle! And you — you here — waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or
48. maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet!
49. Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like him,
50. and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night! — you call it — this party of apes!
51. Maybe we are a long way from being made in God's image, but Stella — my sister —
52. there has been some progress since then! Such things as art — as poetry and music —
53. such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people
54. some tenderer feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow!
55. And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march toward whatever it is we're
56. approaching.... Don't — don't hang back with the brutes!
57. [Another train passes outside. Stanley hesitates, licking his lips. Then suddenly he turns stealthily
58. about and withdraws through the front door. The women are still unaware of his presence. When the
59. train has passed, he calls through the closed front door.]
Williams, Tennessee. "Scene 4." A Streetcar Named Desire. N.p.: n.p., 1947. N. pag. Mit.edu. Web. 21 Sept. 2016.
Which of the following MOST helps to set the scene?