Masculinity In A Streetcar Named Desire

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Strength, lack of emotion, aggression, and confidence are some of the traits society has assigned to men. The play A Streetcar Named Desire uses its lead character to support and portray these traits. The play takes place in the late 1940’s, a time when men and masculinity played a significant role in both households and society. Stanley Kowalski, the leading male, displays the timely masculine qualities while also showing what affect masculinity can have on those around him. Stanley is strong willed and very opinionated, allowing him to treat both men and women in a disrespectful way. Masculinity is most prominently defined at and around the kitchen table, in Stanley and Stella’s flat, through dialogue and physical actions. Stanley’s dialogue…show more content…
Over time, Stanley has become less and less amused with Blanche and Stella’s relationship. He clearly sees that their relationship is giving her strength to stand up to him and no longer accept the way things are. The relationship she has doesn’t do so much harm as it’s making Stella less submissive and worshiping of Stanley. Stella kindly asks Stanley to “Go wash up and then help clear the table.” (pg 131, Williams) 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. Again, feeling that this would never have been said if Blanche hadn’t come, he yells at Stella, “Don’t ever talk that way to me!,” which is an attempt to reclaim his power. (pg 131,

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