The tone of A Streetcar Named Desire is realistic and sympathetic. The play does not make judgmental conclusions about its characters; instead, Williams paints a balanced portrait of their behaviors. Eunice, for example, comes across as angry and unpleasant in several scenes, berating her husband or Stanley, but also behaves as a friendly, maternal, and thoughtful person who is eager to help Blanche when she first arrives. Though not blind to its characters’ faults, the play revels in their vitality, as when describing the poker players as being “at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colors” they wear. The result is a balanced but understanding tone.
Williams also strikes an empathetic tone by letting every character have at least one moment to open and showcase his or her heart. Blanche, for all her compulsive lying, makes several touchingly truthful speeches. And in all his deliberate vulgarity, Stanley has genuinely vulnerable moments, such as when he protests about being called a Polack or begs Stella to return to him. Even tongue-tied Mitch provides a glimpse of the limited but decent man inside with his simple proposal: “You need somebody. And I need somebody, too. Could it be—you and me, Blanche?”