A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Excerpt from Scene ii: Blanche

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There are thousands of papers, stretching back over hundreds of years, affecting Belle Reve as, piece by piece, our improvident grandfathers and father and uncles and brothers exchanged the land for their epic fornications–to put it plainly!

[She removes her glasses with an exhausted laugh]

The four-letter word deprived us of our plantation, till finally all that was left–and Stella can verify that!–was the house itself and about twenty acres of ground, including a graveyard, to which now all but Stella and I have retreated.

[She pours the contents of the envelope on the table]

Here all of them are, all papers! I hereby endow you with them! Take them, peruse them–commit them to memory, even! I think it’s wonderfully fitting that Belle Reve should finally be this bunch of old papers in your big, capable hands!… I wonder if Stella’s come back with my lemon-coke….

[She leans back and closes her eyes.]