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Write about the parts played by women in at least two plays, saying how convincing you have found the playwrights' portrayals of them.

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Introduction

"Some of the most famous heroines represent what men desire in women, but not necessarily what women are in themselves." Write about the parts played by women in at least two plays, saying how convincing you have found the playwrights' portrayals of them. ESSAY B The part of Stella and Linda are both archetypal female figures in that they follow the typical fictional role of the submissive wife and mother. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella DuBois (renamed Mrs. Stanley Kowalski) supports and forgives her husband, defending him against any criticism. Likewise, in Death of a Salesman, Linda - the only female character with any import - is a meek, timid figure around her husband. This weakness is underscored by the sentence structure and diction that each character uses when in conflict with their husband. As both Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller are men, it can be seen that their female characters tend to be what men would desire in women, without giving a too-accurate portrayal of an actual person. Stella and Linda are both symbols of the deferential wife and mother, not convincing portraits of women. ...read more.

Middle

- and it is this blindness that helps him in his downward stumble. It is possible that many men desire this sort of unconditional support and forgiveness - who ever wants to be blamed for their mistakes and behavior - but it is unrealistic to show a woman who tolerates this action even to the point that they end up hurting their husband, or another character. Linda's blindness leads indirectly to Willy's suicide, and Stella's unwillingness to open her eyes to Stanley's actions ends with Blanche being taken away to a mental institution. Both of these characters also forgive their husbands in spite of their abuse, and back down during any conflict. Stella in scene 3 is hit by Stanley; during the poker scene he "gives a loud whack of his hand on her thigh." All that Stella does in reproach is say, "That's not fun, Stanley." During scene 8, Stanley yells at both Stella and Blanche: "What do you two think you are? A pair of queens?" Stella's reaction is only "to cry weakly", asserting her inferior position to Stanley. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her sentences are shorter, and more often interrogative or exclamatory, signifying her deference to her husband. In the first scene, we see right away the pliant nature of Stella with her sentences: "What?"; "Stanley! Where are you going?"; "Can I come watch?". Her diction also falls slightly: "Be over soon." She is also cut off by Stanley in more places, especially in scene 3: "All of you - please go home! If any one of you have one spark of decency in you-"; "You lay your hands on me and I'll-". This is realistic for some women who are submissive to their husbands, more so than perhaps the characters' actions, but the portrayal of the women characters as weak and wavering spouses is not realistic when it is the only female element. There are no strong female characters in either A Streetcar Named Desire of Death of a Salesman. Stella and Linda are dutiful wives, inferior to their husbands, who forgive and support them in spite of abuse. This is shown by their change in sentence structure and diction. Perhaps some males desire unconditional support and surrender from their wives, but to portray all females as weak women at the every beck and call of their husbands is unrealistic and inaccurate. ...read more.

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