A Streetcar Named Desire Gender Analysis

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In the play A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams we see a ‘southern belle’ named Blanche try to fit into her sister’s household where her sister, Stella, is a very submissive wife to her archetype husband, Stanley. The conflict between Blanche and Stanley shows us how gender roles were applied in 1940 and the outcome to when you don’t conform to your role. In the 1940’s, a man could not be more powerful, especially in the US’s patriarchal society. In the play Stanley is an archetype man who gets to do what he please to his wife. He gives his wife, Stella, regular “whacks of his hand on her thigh” to assert his dominance over her. (50) The countless times that Stanley hits Stella and breaks furniture solidifies his role as a dominant male. Stanley also unveils his promiscuity to whomever he please because he says to Blanche “My clothes are stickin’ to me. Do you mind if I make myself comfortable? [He starts to remove his shirt].” (26) He walks around his house shirtless with his sister in-law being the only one in the house and as we learn it is for the sex appeal between him and Blanche. He also displays the characteristics of an ‘animal’ by talking without respect and discretion. He tells a story to Blanche about a woman who said, “I am the glamorous type! (Woman)” and “I said (Stanley) “So what?”(38) This shows his complete lack of consideration for women and it also accents him being the archetype male. When you glance at Stanley’s life he …show more content…

In since Stanley matches his role, he is allowed to get away with rape and Stella’s personal needs in order to live with are met because she is a good housewife. Blanche however has the worst outcome with being raped, and then she is accused of insanity and sent to a mental institution. This goes to show that it was better to being like everyone else instead of

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