A Streetcar Named Desire - the Presentation of Masculinity in Scene 3

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  • Topic: Gender, Man, Poker
  • Pages : 6 (2171 words )
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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The evidence of masculinity in scene three is shown through dialogue, stage direction and description of the surroundings. The introduction to the dramatic purpose of the poker party demonstrates Stanley's domination over his friends through the way in which he makes all the decisions about the game. He also shows domination over his wife by hitting her during an argument.

Scene three opens with a description of surroundings during a poker night. The description of the poker night immediately introduces it as an all guys night. Stanley, Steve, Mitch and Pablo, all men are described as wearing shirts that have colours that are "powerful as the primary colours". Primary colours are childish colours showing how childish and immature their personality is going to be through out the poker night. This is a contrast to how they are described physically as "strong". These solid colours suggest they are strong, powerful men who are "coarse" and "direct". Even though they are at their "prime" of physical manhood, alternatively the primary colour description can be seen as them not being in their prime mentally, suggesting immaturity and simple thinking. The hard, strong alcohol of whisky on the table implies masculinity. It is also a whisky bottle and not wine. If it was wine it would be too elegant for the occasion and wine is generally seen in romantic situations with women.

As we hear the men have a poker talk conversation about a "wild deal," we not only hear that the vocabulary is simple but also common which is in contrast with Stella and Blanche's flowery, finer vocabulary. We also see Stanley "toss" some watermelon rind to the floor. The word "toss" is a very rough way of disposing a watermelon rind. He doesn't throw it in a rubbish bin showing he doesn't seem to care. He also does this when he throws the meat to Stella in scene one. I think he also expects Stella to clean up after him, reinforcing the idea that females take care of the house and clean up after their husband.

Later Mitch starts to worry about his sick mother who he left at home. He says she wouldn't be able to sleep until he, "comes in at night". This implies she needs him to be there all the time and that she, as a female, is dependent on him, the breadwinner of the house. Stanley patronizes Mitch by saying he'll fix him a "sugar tit". Stanley is cutting down Mitch's masculinity by saying he needs to go home to be with his mother. Stanley's mockery of Mitch shows his dominance and masculinity over Mitch because it is almost like the pecking order amongst wild animals; competition amongst males and their dominance. Also the word "sugar tit" is quite vulgar which men would generally say. I think women wouldn't be this crude and direct because they would think it is too explicit and women generally don't make fun of their friends because they are sensitive.

Steve's joke about the "young hen" being chased by the rooster reflects how men ‘chase' after women for their looks and treat them like objects just to look at. It also shows the male dominance over the hen. Masculinity is present in everything they do.

As the girls arrive home, Blanche won't go in until she has powdered her face and asks if she looks "done in". She is concerned about her looks perhaps to impress the guys. Her attitude towards her looks reflects how men want women to look all the time. Women are treated like sexual objects in this play and it is evident through the actions of Blanche and Stella.

When the sisters come home Stella asks if the "boys" are still playing poker. By calling them "boys", as if they were little and young, she might be trying to show a little dominance over them. Stanley shows verbal dominance towards Blanche when he tells her that "nobody's going to get up," for her (a way of showing courtesy) in a firm and strong tone.

Stanley shows he is man of the house by saying to Stella that they will only...
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