A Streetcar Named Desire Gender Roles Essay

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A gender role is defined as a set of social norms dictating what types of behaviors are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex (gender role). Gender roles have been present throughout all of history and it has varied significantly. At the moment of birth, we as humans are assigned gender roles. People learn from those who are around them. In society masculine roles are traditionally associated with strength and dominance, while feminine roles are traditionally associated with nurturing and subordination. One way to view this idea is through American Literature. In The Yellow Wallpaper and A Streetcar Named Desire the gender roles are extremely prominent. These two forms…show more content…
The play is set on a street in New Orleans called Elysian Fields, which is considered a poor section that had raffish charm. The play contains eleven scenes. Like The Yellow Wall-Paper many themes can be found throughout this play, however; one of the most prominent themes found in Williams’s play concerns gender roles. Stanley, a main character in the play, is depicted as a dominant male figure. In the play, he is described as having an extremely masculine or fierce quality about him, suggesting that he is not only physically in shape, but that he has a unpleasant temper as well. In the opening act Stanley is seen throwing a package of meat at Stella, while this incident seems friendly, the lack of respect that he has for his wife is extremely evident. He fits perfectly into the stereotypical male role of that time period. ““Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his movement and attitudes…the center of his life has been pleasure with women” suggests that because he is so attractive, Stanley can easily take advantage of other women” (Gender Roles in “A Streetcar Named Desire”). This proves that Stanley sees himself as being superior to women. Stanley’s direct attitude is evident throughout the play, through the way he treats both Stella and Blanche. In one part of the play his personality is clearly shown, when he violently hits his wife, Stella, after he becomes drunk. This happens after he tells Stella he is going to stop
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