Essay On Gender Roles In A Streetcar Named Desire

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Gender Roles in A Streetcar Named Desire On the surface one can see the movie as supporting the normal gender roles of the 1950’s with the submissive stay at home wife and the overtly masculine husband who is the financial provider but when one looks closer one can see that A Streetcar Named Desire subverts many of those ideas while supporting others. Stanley is the dumb character whose worth is based on his looks, you can see this is how Stella patronizes his attempts at being intelligent in the Napoleonic Code scene and with how Blanche lusts after him when she first meets him, even the infamous Stella scene results in him being mocked by the neighbors because they see him being seen as being dependent on Stella. Neither Stella nor Blanche have any respect for him and continually condescend him. Throughout the movie despite being the most intimidating character Stanley has no power. This seems a dynamic that he is fine with when it comes to his relationship with Stella, probably because she does not actively burst his illusion of masculinity. This will briefly “change” towards the end of the play when he asserts his dominance over Blanche by raping her because she has taking his delusion of power. Ultimately this…show more content…
He as the Neanderthal like brute, who uses violence and intimidation to obtain dominion over Stella and in one scene he shouts “Every man is a King! — And I am the king around here, so don’t you forget it” (Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire) after breaking dishes in an effort to show he has control. These scenes are intended to show the weakness of Blanche and Stella, whose emotions are dictated by Stanley’s actions, but as the “Stella” scene revealed to us earlier in the film Stanley needs Stella far more then she does him. Blanche has created the faux reality of being a demure southern belle, who is utterly dependent on the whims of those around
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