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A Streetcar Named Desire - Stella, Marriage & Domestic Life.

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Luciana Machado 12.09.04 IB English - yr 2 Essay Stella, Marriage & Domestic Life New Orleans. Physical Abuse. Bestiality. Submission. In A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, the characters represent Williams' own view of society. Williams has created a medium to observe and reflect upon the darkest aspects of society and the result of these societal downfalls. One of the protagonists, Stella, is trapped in the patriarchal misogynistic values that dictate society having to deal with her marriage, and her new domestic life. In the character of Stella, the reader's primary reaction is to support and identify with her, but in reality she represents the type of person who has given up on the ideals she once knew and has, in a sense, joined forces with the "enemy". She deserted Blanche at Belle Reve and has now settled for mediocrity - far away than that of stardom her name implies - in Stanley's arms. She is of a clear higher status than of her husband Stanley, and there is a good example of it on the first scene, page , that while she is talking to him, Williams' stage directions have placed Stella on the first floor while he is having to look up at her from the ground floor. ...read more.


Another example of irony is while Blanche is suffering telling the tragic story of how Belle Reve was lost, she feels as if she needs to justify herself but at the same time, she accuses Stella of walking away from the plantation. Every aspect of her domestic life bothers Blanche including her overt sexuality. However, Stella's enthusiasm for sex is unusual for the social period of the play and for social backgroud. Laurel, located in the South, was composed of plantations consisted of members of the aristocracy, their servants, and a poetic lifestyle heard only from books. Stanley represents the "new order" of the South, with his non-chivalric, muscular, babaraous, and troglodyte ways. Their relationship is entirely based on carnal and corporeal pleasures whilst the clear definition for marriage is that of "being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and loving relationship." Stanley acts towards Stella with a macho, primitive, dominant agression, while Stella does nothing but comply with his demands subserviently. Williams conveys this idea with the setting of their apartment composed of vivid primary colors, perfectly matching Stanley's primal instincts. A final show of authority is his over powering presence within the poker games. ...read more.


Women were degraded to mere tags, and never allowed their own personage. In spite of that, she needs her man by her side to guide her. Her slight actions of frustration, yet non-violent situation also demonstrate her passivity. She laughs girlishly and uncertainly, her voice is weary and her face is anxious. When someone interrupts her, she allows this because everyone deserves a chance to speak. Stella does not enjoy being hit by Stanley, for she is not masochistic, but in the back of her mind she knows she could not subsist if she got any idea to leave Stanley A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams brings to light many of the truths as to society's attitudes towards men and women. A range of dramatic techniques, such as dialogue, stage directions, gaps and silences, setting, catalogue, foreshadow, symbolism, irony, and character, are employed in order to shape understandings of gender stereotypes. The playwright explores both male and female stereotypes as well as society's reaction to those who challenge these preconceptions, or indeed misconceptions as the case may be. By representing these truths to the masses which view this striking play, Tennessee Williams poses a question to society, as to whether or not these representations are accurate. May audiences only hope to respond to this question in the next century. ...read more.

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