Character Analysis: Stanley Kowalski It is often said that men want to dominate women. Stanley Kowalski is a great example of this. This is shown through his actions, and the things he says about women. In “A streetcar named desire” by Tennessee Williams, the reader is introduced to Stanley Kowalski. He has a wife named Stella, and sister-in-law named Blanche. Stanley is a very sexual man. His sexual nature is even felt when he makes his 1st appearance. “Stanley: Catch! Stella: What? Stanley: Meat!” (Williams 4). The throwing of the meat symbolizes his sexual passion for his wife. The things Stella says about Stanley also reveals his sexual prowess. “When he’s away for a week, I nearly go wild!” (Williams 25). Stella’s longing for Stanley while he is gone really demonstrates how close they are, but it also shows her longing for sexual pleasure from him. Stanley’s sexuality changes a woman’s perception of him. “But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark- that sort of make everything else seem- unimportant.” (Williams 70). Stanley uses subtle tactics when approaching a woman sexually. “My clothes’re stickin’ to me. Do you mind if I make myself comfortable?” (Williams 28). Him asking her this is a tactic, he wants to see how far she will go. Despite all of Stanley’s sexual tendencies, we haven’t even scratched the …show more content…
Williams demonstrates this through the choices Stanley makes. He yells at Stella and Blanche. He even tells his friend Mitch what to do and when to do it. But, Williams truly saved the best for last. He shows the best example of Stanley’s desire for dominance when he rapes Blanche. “[She moans. The bottle-top falls. She sinks to her knees. He picks up her inert figure and carries her to the bed. The hot trumpet and drums from the Four Deuces sound loudly.]” (Williams 162). Stanley had to show Blanche his dominance of his household. He refuses to relinquish his control over his
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Stella serves as the buffer between Stanley and Blanche and tries to the best of her abilities to keep the hostility down by requesting Stanley to show kindness to her sister, scolding him for his rude behavior towards Blanche, and defending Blanche when Stanley insults her. She also defends Stanley and ignores his violent outbursts whenever Blanche tries to convince Stella of Stanley’s abusive nature and that she needs to leave him because of it. Stella acts as Blanche’s caretaker and enjoys waiting on her. She supports and encourages Blanche in her courtship with Mitch. She also understands Blanche’s delicate state of mind, but she did not realize how severe Blanche’s mind has developed.
Feeling that she’s asked too much of him, something that would’ve never been done before Blanche came, he suddenly “hurls his plate at the floor,” “seizes her arm,” and yells, “That’s how I’ll clear the table!” (pg 131, Williams) This action speaks louder than words and not only shows that he feels he can treat her any way he’d like but, it also shows that he feels this is women’s work and not men’s. When Blanche and Stella says Stanley is “making a pig of himself” and is “disgustingly greasy,” he gets offended easily.
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.
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.
The play “A Streetcar Named Desire” is about an emotionally unstable lady named Blanche. She moves in with her youngest sister and her husband because the landlord took the land away from Blanche because they could not pay for it anymore. After being their for a while Blanche starts remembering her horrible past which is something she was trying to do in the first place. The husband of Stella, Stanley Kowalski was also someone that made Blanche’s life miserable for complicating everything and harassing her in every possible way. Death is one of the most symbolic terms in this play.
Stanley comes out of the bathroom, grinning at her. Blanche tries to get out, but Stanley blocks her way by shutting the door. He comes near her, and she backs away and tells hims to stay back. She breaks a bottle and threatens to twist the broken end in his face. He jumps at her and she tries to fight back, but Stanley has hold of her wrists.
Williams uses the expressionist technique “The ‘Varsouviana’ is filtered into weird distortion, accompanied by the cries and noises of the jungle” to parallel Blanche’s inner mind and depicts Blanche’s deranged mental state after Stella’s betrayal. The imagery ‘Lurid reflections appear on the walls in odd, sinuous shapes’ highlights her mental turbulence and the stage directions ‘mysterious voices behind walls, as if reverberated through a canyon of rock…the echo sounds in threatening whispers’ heightens tension, positioning the audience to witness the overwhelming fear and exaggeration of her senses, further emphasising the detrimental impact Stella’s decision made. The Streetcar Named Desire also examines the influence that a person’s social standing can have. Stanley’s statement in scene 2 ‘The Kowalskis and Dubois have different notions’ indicates their social upbringing has influenced the way they think, hence disrupting their connection and loyalty towards one another. The use of their family name is metonymic for their ancestry and social standing, addressing the barriers derived from a social hierarchy which have affected their relationship.
In A Streetcar Named Desire, there is an ongoing power struggle between Stanley and Blanche, which propels the narrative. Stanley has the power of masculine physicality and mentality whereas Blanche only has the power of her background, of which she feigns to be her class. As the battle between the two is predominantly over Stella, we begin to witness in scene 2, where Stanley openly accuses Blanche of hiding “legal papers connected with the plantation”. His aggressive nature, towards her, motivates the idea of his resentment towards her, as
The sexual dynamic between Stella and Stanley is what allows their marriage to be sustained. Stella’s attraction to Stanley overrides many of Stanley’s
He is verbally and physically abusive towards his wife, Stella, in order to establish his power over her. He is described as giving a ‘loud whack of his hand on her thigh’ to which she merely retaliates ‘That’s not fun, Stanley.’ Whilst ‘the men laugh’. This shows how abusive behaviour towards women is normalised and accepted within this patriarchal society as the men simply choose to ‘laugh’ along with Stanley.
He desires a normal life with Stella, without Blanche in the picture. As told in A Streetcar Named Desire--Psychoanalytic Perspectives, “After exposing all of Blanches shameful secrets and destroying her plans to marry Mitch, Stanley completes her violation and subjugation by raping her, which drives her to insanity” (A Streetcar Named Desire--Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Silvio). Stanley desires a normal life without Blanche so bad, that he completely broke her to get it. Stanley also wants to be desired.
In one particular scene in the movie Stanley becomes furious with Blanche’s disrespect towards him and proceeds to tell her that he is the king of the house and she is to do as he says. It seems that Stanley felt a sense of achievement by making women fear him. Tennessee William uses this wicked man to help the audience see how Southern culture displayed unethical