‘Men are the savage and brutal forces of society’. Compare and contrast how masculinity is explored in two texts you have studied in light of this comment.
Masculinity is a theme that has been addressed in society for many years the issue of masculinity is expressed in the texts All new people and Streetcar named desire, the men are seen as brutal forces of society but from different perspectives; One of the 1950’s post war reality and the other reflects the modern freedoms .In the play A Streetcar named Desire, masculinity means aggression, control, physical dominance, and even violence. Accompanying these traits is a general lack of refinement, manners, and sensitivity. One point of view expressed in the play is that this sort of brute masculinity is primitive and sub-human another is that it is attractive and sexually appealing, alternatively freedom and liberalism has left the men in All New People as victims of society, and it has left them without strong role models, power, community, faith or rules. A Streetcar Named Desire presents a sharp critique of the way the institutions and attitudes of postwar America placed restrictions on women’s lives and how men were given power. Williams uses Blanche’s and Stella’s dependence on men to expose and critique the treatment of women during the transition from the old to the new South. Given this power and reliance the men in A Streetcar named Desire, Stanley being great examples see this as a chance to do whatever he wants whenever he wants without a care for anyone. He is the man who likes to lay his cards on the table. He can understand no relationship between man and woman except a sexual one, where he sees the man's role as giving and taking pleasure from this relationship. He possesses no quality that would not be considered manly in the most basic sense. By more sensitive people, he is seen as common, crude, and vulgar. Centering on the male characters in both plays Stanley and Myron both have manual jobs, which emphasizes their masculinity and authority, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is based in a post war society, when men were returning from war and taking back their roles from the women, Stanley is a character who is very proud of his working class background and he sees himself as the head of the household, he is also patriotic. When Blanche calls him a ‘polack’ and he responds by saying ‘I am not a Polack. People from Poland are Poles, not Polacks. But what I am is a one hundred percent American, born and raised in the greatest country on earth and proud as hell of it, so don’t ever call me a Polack.’ here we see Stanley’s patriotic side he also uses the Napoleonic code to reassert his masculinity. Stanley asserts his dominance over Blanche by saying ‘Don’t ever call me a Polack’ this is an instruction and Stanley sets boundaries for Blanche. Myron being a similar character to Stanley is a fireman which is a very masculine job as it requires bravery and courage and comes along with the role of saving lives. The stage direction used show Myron is very proud of himself, even though when he should be ashamed of himself, Charlie addresses Myron has a ‘drug problem’ and Myron responds by saying ‘Doesn’t really feel like a problem to me ‘this shows Myron is unaware that his drug use is a problem and it’s a form of escapism for him like alcohol is for Stanley.
Charlie’s way to escape from realism was to hang himself he didn’t want to face up to what he did like a man would usually. But when he is interrupted he seeks to avoid loneliness because of his guilt and so he can forget what he did he feels this is a way to take responsibility for what he did but Stanley on the other doesn’t take responsibility of what he has done the rape of Blanche by Stanley is a pivotal, integral truth in the play, without which the play loses its meaning, which is the ravishment of the tender, the sensitive, the delicate, by the savage and brutal forces of modern society. In some ways...
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