Masculinity In A Streetcar Named Desires By Tennessee Williams

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Throughout the play as a whole Tennessee Williams creates conflict between the two genders. Particularly in Stanley, the concept of masculinity is associated with a brutish, aggressive, primal force as well as sexual sensuality. Throughout the play, his raw power is regularly highlighted, and he fiercely displays his supremacy by loud actions and violence. Even his wardrobe exudes power. The "sub-human" has a strong connection to Stanley's masculinity. Williams calls him a "gaudy seed-bearer" and a "richly feathered bird among hens." However, Tennessee Williams describes stella as tolerant on Stanley's behaviour and is like to be “waited on". Stella is also raised as aristocrat in the old south, so she is well educated and has manners.

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Stella is trying to manifest superiority over Stanley while agreeing with her sister. She then says, “your face and finger are disgustingly greasy.” This insults and rejects Stanley status and belief as a dominant figure creating huge tension between the two genders. However, Stanley uses zoomorphism to get his dominance back as he says “every man is king” suggesting that everything he says should be listened to. Whist telling Stella not call him a “pig- Polack- disgusting – vulgar – greasy". This is ironic as he doesn’t want to be called 'disgusting’ or ‘vulgar’ even though his actions reflect that. It's not appropriate to treat his pregnant wife with such abuse and aggression, his carelessness is further continued by his lack of shame and empathy for when stella starts to cry and this just shows how cruel men were as they supported the patriarchy. Further on we can see that Stanley and stella relationship is built on sex “Them nights we had together.” Stanley does this to manipulates Stella by threatening to take this away from her. However, this completely different with blanche who is insecure and need to be …show more content…

This is shown through the rape scene when Stanley says top Blanche “we’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!” This ironic as both Blanche and Stanley have flirted with each other earlier in the play. Also, previously in scene four blanche said to stella “the only way to live with such a man is go to bed with him". In scene eleven stella admits to Eunice that “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley". This implies that Blanche has told her about the rape. However, stella can't bring herself to accept the facts as it will ruin the relationship, she has with Stanley and she's about to have a baby which she can't afford to raise on her’ own. This shows how toxic masculinity were as William presents them as been created, perpetuated and reinforced by the patriarchal system under which the characters and indeed the people of the world lived in America in the late 1940s. Domestic abuse was not taken seriously by the authorities, spousal rape wasn’t illegal and men had no outlet for their emotions in the way that women had such as being able to cry without ridicule or being able to

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