Domestic Violence In Streetcar Named Desire

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As readers begin to follow Blanche Dubois’ journey throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, they are taken deep into the heart of Louisiana to meet Blanche’s sister’s world in none other than New Orleans. There, they are quickly greeted with southern charm, precious couples, chummy friendships, and unbreakable family ties all teeming with more than just a hint of dark, buried social issues. As readers are taken deeper into Blanche’s experience with her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley, readers come face-to-face with sugar coated portrayals of domestic violence, alcoholism, and rape. As A Streetcar Named Desire appears throughout American high schools, it must be debated whether this dicey play should be banned or not. Despite the fact that…show more content…
In scene ten of the play, readers are led to believe that Blanche is raped by her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. Unfortunately, no one believes Blanche when she informs them of the offense, and they in turn conclude that she has gone insane. In reality, Blanche was left in an unstable mental state due to the actions of Stanley Kowalski, and it is unacceptable that he got away with his actions. One source discussing rape prevention recounts, “Empirical evidence demonstrates that ‘sexist, patriarchal, and/or sexually hostile attitudes’ are predictors of violence against women. Societal tolerance—and even embrace—of these attitudes is known as rape culture” (Oster). A Streetcar Named Desire exhibits multiple examples of behavior such as sexist, patriarchal, and/or sexually hostile attitudes. By allowing students to read this play in educational environments, these heavily flawed demeanors are being tolerated and thus promoting rape culture. An article on rape education explains that, “The many factors that both singly and in combination contribute to adolescent acquaintance rape are well documented in the literature. These contributing factors include [various rape myths, acceptance of or ignorance surrounding dating violence, alcohol and drug usage and male–female communication problems]” (Fay and Medway). Factors of pieces of literature similar to A Streetcar Named Desire have the potential to advance adolescent acquaintance rape, which is a severe situation. Therefore, due to the portrayal of rape culture and the advocation of violence and unhealthy behaviors seen throughout A Streetcar Named Desire, students should not be exposed to wrongful depictions of such serious topics like this and as a result, the play should be off limits in
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