A Streetcar Named Desire
Blanche and Stanley, two characters of Tenessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, represent two very conflicting personalities. Stanley, Blanche’s sister Stella’s aggressive husband, portrays strong tones of anger, rage, and frustration. However, although his behavior is without a doubt over-bearing and rough, in a way he displays realism and truth as well. On the other hand, the play’s true protagonist Blanche exerts enthusiasm, spunk, and elaborate nostalgia. These characteristics don’t really come out in a positive or attractive way, but instead verify her insanity near the play’s end. Together, Blanche and Stanley represent true inner conflict, each in their own way, and the tension among the two is an exciting and driving force to be reckoned with.
Stanley exudes the stereotypical “wife beater” husband of the 1930s. Dressed almost always in the era’s staple guiney-tee, his rash actions and aggressive episodes towards his wife are frightening to say the least. On the surface, he seems to despise the fact that Blanche is always around, intruding on his and Stella’s life together. Multiple times throughout the play he throws a fit, destructing the kitchen table, bedroom, or whatever he can get his hands on. His crudeness towards Stella is arguably a portrayal of his self-deemed superiority over women.
However, despite his awful rage and somewhat abusive actions, Stanley amazingly represents a good trait as well. His morals are all about honesty, truthfulness, and realism. He really clashes with Blanche so much because she is so fixated on the past, and it drives him towards ultimate frustration because he’s such a realist. Each time Blanche brings up a thing of her past, he fills with rage and goes off on one of his trademarked episodes. Therefore, on the surface Stanley’s rough personality definitely is a tough wall to see past, but his actions really come from his “honesty policy”, and his realism.
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