Playwright Tennessee Williams once said “a symbol in a play has only one legitimate purpose which is to say a thing more directly and simply and beautifully than it could be said in words”. He seems to take his own advice to heart when writing such a thought provoking play as A Streetcar Named Desire. While Williams makes extensive use of symbols in Streetcar, the use of animals and animal-like characteristics as a symbol are constantly used to define Stanley Kowalski’s character and convey his desires as primal and ferine. Stanley has the first line in the play and is immediately characterized by Williams with the use of his stage direction “bellowing” (Williams 244; sc. 1). Like a wild animal, Stanley has a desire for unrefinement and …show more content…
1). Williams states that he takes with “the power and pride of a richly feathered bird among hens”(265; sc. 1). This comparison to animals portrays Stanley as the alpha male in this story. He views woman as objects and his sexual desires are strong and primitive. Whenever he fights with Stella, the “things that happen between a man and women in the dark… make everything else seem – unimportant” (321; sc.4). In other words, Stella is very aware that her sexual relationship with Stanley can help her sort out any problems between them. Also, shortly before Stanley rapes Blanche, Williams says in the stage directions that there were “inhuman voices like cries in the jungle” (399; sc. 10). Blanche, which means white wood, is out of her element in this jungle of Stanley’s and it is she, who once called Stanley “bestial” (322; sc. 4) and “sub-human” (323; sc. 4), who has now found herself being stalked and charged like prey being hunted by an animal. With his sister-in-law present, Stanley has been unable to fulfill his sexual desires and so he releases them out on Blanche. The rape can also be seen as Stanley asserting his dominance over Blanche as she has taken his wife’s attention away from him long
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A while after she got settled in, Blanche witnessed Stanley physically abusing her sister, Stella, and then started secretly rebuking Stanley to Stella. She saw their relationship as unhealthy and tried everything that she could to destroy it. After overhearing Blanche telling Stella to get rid of him, Stanley begins to steadily contemplate his revenge. He had made it his personal goal to dig deeper into her past and he found pretty much all the information that he needed in order to get rid of her. In order to preserve his relationship with his wife, Stanley came up with an amazingly credible plan to permanently get rid of
In Scene 10, Blanche is begging Stanley to let her get by and he is not moving to let her through. Stanley says that he thinks Blanche would not be too bad to interfere with in a sexual way going back to Scene 6, when he would walk through the rooms in his underwear at night near Blanche. Blanche complained about the little bit of privacy she had in the house and that was exemplified when Stanley later picked her up and carried her into the bedroom. Blanche had thought in the beginning that her situation was frightful, but never to the degree in which she experienced towards the end of the
In Blanche and Stanley’s initial interactions, there was an air of sexual tension. This tension dissipates completely as the play progresses, and their relationship turns into a resentful and hateful one. Throughout the play, Stanley has several violent outbursts towards Stella that worry Blanche. This allows Stanley to assert dominance over both women. At the end of the play, Stanley releases his pent up anger and frustration toward Blanche through a sexual attack.
One major similarity between Blanche and Stanley is that they both like to manipulate or control other people, to make themselves feel better. Even though there are different ways Stanley and Blanche take control of other people they still do it in a familiar matter. For example, Blanche takes power and influence over people by lying to others and herself, to make them believe in something that actually never happened, with fantacy, therefore makes Blanche feel greater, than she actually may be. To go deeper in depth, to prove that Blanche is manipulative she also says. ¨I don 't tell the truth.
Stanley’s behaviour represents the power that men have in society in comparison to women, and how, through violence, they gain respect not only from their wives but also from all the women around them. Stella represents the submissive wife who must be obedient and tolerate the violence her husband forces upon her. Whenever Stanley loses his temper and beats her, she runs away, but then she comes back with him, because since she is pregnant, she does not have another alternative but to love with him. However, her pregnancy is not the only reason why she endures the aggression of her husband. Stella should continue with her stereotypical gender role as the submissive wife because it is what the society of the Forties dictates for all the women.
Quote and Explain, In contrast, Stella has both a husband and a child, she has something to work for, leading her to be accepted into society. Although Stella exemplifies these common traits, she falls under the same category as her sister, Blanche. While being depicted as less in comparison to the opposite sex. The intense description of the stage directions in scene three, depicts Stella as the prey and Stanley as the predator as he vigorously abused
Stanley is a blunt, practical, and animalistic man who has no patience for subtleties and refinement. His animalistic character shows the moment he meets Blanche, when he, moving with “animalistic joy” (24), “sizes” Blanche up with “sexual classifications” and “crude image” in his mind (25). Under his stare, Blanche draws “involuntarily back” (25), a movement that foreshadows their later conflict and her subsequent demise. His practical and straightforward side shows when he interrogates Blanche about the sale of Belle Reve to make sure that his wife is not swindled. His straightforward, practical nature makes him “boom” out of impatience (46) and demands Blanche to cut straight to the point when she tries to talk in an indirect, subtle manner as befit a Southern gentlewoman.
She refused to leave him when Blanche insisted and didn’t believe Blanche when it came to her being raped. Blanche, Stella, and Stanley all have the same want to be desired. The ways they act and treat each other back that up. Blanche feels the need to be desired by everyone around her, Stanley by Stella and others, and Stella by Stanley. Their lives revolve around desire.
She brings this sense of superiority to Stella who unintentionally tries to distinguish her background from Stanley as well. Stanley recognizes the fact that Blanche looks down on him forcing him to assert his masculinity over her. Stanley’s dominance over the household and Stella is being questioned upon Blanche’s
It also highlights Stella’s submissive nature, and how she conforms to the sexist societal expectations of a helpless and fragile woman. Although the surrounding male characters disregard Stanley’s abuse, the audience is repulsed by it and identifies it as morally wrong. This shows how Williams is criticising the acceptance of this abusive behaviour in society, using Stella’s dilemma as a victim to plea for a change. Stanley is even abusive when displaying his
In Scene 10, she deviously claims that she has just received a telegram from the millionaire, Steph Huntleigh, to explain why she is dressed up. At first, Stanley plays along, but once Blanche musters up the audacity to say that Mitch returned to their apartment seeking repentance, Stanley draws the line. He calls her out for her fictitious tales of her past, and states, “We’ve had this date from the start,” just before he maliciously rapes Blanche. Their natures root in primal, animalistic instincts, Stanley like a dirty hog, open and free concerning his sexuality, Blanche like a fox, sly and deceitful. Despite her incessant attempts to destroy her past, Blanche is unable to stop their sexual connection as she has had so many other men.
This is made clear through Stanley’s insecurities about inferiority to women and his prolonged struggle to defeat Blanche. Again, this is evident with Blanche and even Stella. Stella is perceived as a static character with no real individuality, and Blanche, who is seemingly more independent, is characterized mostly by her sexuality. Tennessee Williams demonstrates society’s need for the superiority of men to women through the interactions of Stanley and Blanche in the play, their struggles, and their ultimate
“A Streetcar Named Desire” is a very elegant film in which the Southern gothic culture is demonstrated profoundly. Tennessee Williams uses the characters in the play to bring about a sense of how corrupt society truly was in the 1940’s in the South. The 1940’s was marked by an immense amount of violence, alcoholism, and poverty. Women at the time were treated as objects rather than people. Throughout the play Tennessee Williams relates the aspects of Southern society to the characters in the play.
Stella’s sister, Blanche, sees through the illusion and can see how toxic the marriage really is. Stanley and Blanche come from distinctly different backgrounds, Stanley is from the working class while Blanche comes from wealth. Williams uses these two contrasting points of views on marriage, to show the issues of possessiveness, class, and sexism. When it comes to Stanley’s marriage to Stella, one of the most notable characteristics is how possessive Stanley is. An example of this is when Stanley found out that Blanche and therefore Stella, lost their estate.