Passion Is Both Liberating and Imprisioning

Topics: Love, Lust, Blanche DuBois Pages: 6 (2064 words) Published: May 11, 2010
“Passion is both liberating and imprisoning”
Compare and contrast ways on which two of your chosen writers present in the light of this comment.

‘Passion’ – A very strong emotion or a sexual desire? ‘Enduring Love’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ are both novels that show off different aspects on ‘passion’. The two authors portray ‘passion’ to be a key element in their relationships. However with ‘passion’ comes an emotional consequence, whether it being it making you feel ‘liberated’ or ‘imprisoned’.

Ian McEwen wrote ‘Enduring Love’ in the late 1990’s, based mainly on a couple that are deeply in love, Joe and Clarissa. Joe and Clarissa have been together for seven years, but are not married. They are both well educated and professionals within their professions. They enjoy luxuries that can only be affordable on a high wage like a ‘1987 Daumas Gassac’ It is apparent that Joe and Clarissa’s relationship is based on their emotional attachment for one another, this is evident when Clarissa comes back to London from a six week trip, Joe wondered “whether they should not of driven straight home to bed.” Immediately this shows that the couple’s relationship is based on more than just sex.

In comparison, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ was written in 1947 by a man named Tennessee Williams. Instead of a novel ‘A Streetcar named Desire’ is a play, which also focus’s on another couple, called the ‘Kowalski’s’, Stanley and Stella have been married for a year and are having their first child together. The two of them have come from completely different backgrounds; Stanley is a working class ‘Polack’, born and raised in America but his family is from Poland. On the other hand, Stella is from a higher class French decent family that had a lot of wealth to their name. The Kowalski’s relationship seems to be based on their sexual need and desire for each other.

In ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ Stanley portrays to be liberated by his passion, as he is in love and fulfilling his sexual desires with his wife. Stanley’s animal characteristics are free to rein the play as he dominates his relationship with his wife as well as Blanche, his sister-in-law. As a character Stanley is an intimidating person who patronises his wife and treats her as if he is stupid “Let me enlighten you on a point or two, baby.” He also abuses his authority within his social network of friends, which is clearly shown in Scene Three; Mitch, a close friend of Stanley’s says that he has a “sick mother,” where Stanley should be sympathetic at this point he replaces his compassionate behaviour with a impatient and vulgar attitude and moans “Aw, for God sake, go home then.” Stanley seems to be attracted to aggression and drama, he continuously spars with Blanche throughout the play listening to Blanche call him ‘common’ and animal like. In return Stanley researches Blanche’s background in Laurel and finds out information which he then uses against her, to Stella and Mitch, leaving Blanche heartbroken. After Stanley dominates and destroys Blanche completely by raping her. Stanley overrules the whole situation and buys her a ticket back to Laurel, whether Stella wants her to go or not, “She’ll go! Period. P.S. She’ll go Tuesday” Yet again leaving Stanley feeling liberated as he has got his own way.

Arguably, it can be said that Stanley felt that he is imprisoned. Blanche is a new face and a powerful figure to Stella; it is easy to see why Stanley would think that Blanche would be a threat to Stanley’s New Orleans life style. Blanche did not like the way that Stanley was treating Stella, so she tried to make Stella understand that it was wrong. But once Stella started to stick up for herself, Stanley’s reaction was rude and aggressive; he began to argue with her “Since when did you give me orders?” It was noticeable that Stanley was irritated by Blanche being involved in Stella and Stanley’s life, as he felt that he was being ‘replaced’ and his sense of power and...
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