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"Remember what Huey Long said - "Every Man is a King!" - Explain how Stanley had his control, how he has had his kingship challenged and how he is trying to re-establish his control.

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Introduction

"Remember what Huey Long said - "Every Man is a King!" Explain how Stanley had his control, how he has had his kingship challenged and how he is trying to re-establish his control. In the opening of "A Street Car Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams, we are presented with a stereotypical presentation of a husband and wife. However, during the duration of the play, we see how Stanley changes from being in control, to loosing his control and using desperate measures to regain a higher status. In Scene 1 the impression the audience gets about Stanley is that he is in control over his wife. The first time the audience sees him, he "bellows" at Stella and Stella "mildly" talks back to him, showing Stanley's higher status. Stanley also "hurls" a meaty package at Stella, showing his masculine power that he possesses. Stella, in contrast, is the one that waits for Stanley. The first time we see Stella and Stanley together, Stanley has gone to find Stella rather than the other way round. ...read more.

Middle

He does this by showing off his masculine power like he done in Scene 1, as he "jerks" and "hurls" Blanches possessions to the floor, trying to find evidence to get Stella back on his side. His actions have an opposite effect, where Stella then feels that Stanley is being "stupid and horrid". This makes Stanley feel as if he has widened the gap between himself and Stella even further, and that all the blame should be put on Blanche, as she caused his wife to become rebellious to her housewife role and took Stella's attention off of himself. Stanley sees his change of role in the house as a threat to his masculinity. To regain respect from peers and from Stella, he tries to regain is status by loosing his temper, and proving how powerful he is. In scene 3, he "tosses" the radio out of the window. He wants to the source of Stella's attention, and he hits her. This leaves the audience with the impression that Stanley is almost punishing her for paying attention to other people. ...read more.

Conclusion

But these things don't work so Stanley eventually rapes Blanche. As Blanche confides in Stella about what has happened, Stella "couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley" so she has to choose between them. Stella then chooses Stanley, leaving Blanche to be taken away by a Doctor to a mental hospital. In the beginning of the play it is clear to see how Stanley has higher status than Stella, shown through a combination of stage directions and speech. Stanley realises that his status has been lost fairly early on in the play, and firstly believes that he must show his masculine power by hitting Stella. This is obviously the way he has solved any previous issues to do with his masculinity, as Stella says about how "Stanley's always smashed things". Stanley realises how this usual solution won't work this time, so he puts his efforts into driving Blanche away. He succeeds in doing this, but it shows the audience a terrible side to Stanley. His last action to regain masculinity is an awful act with risky consequences, as Stella could have easily turned against him. ...read more.

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