Stanley as an Antagonist: Streetcar Named Desire

Topics: Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Stanley Kowalski Pages: 2 (772 words) Published: January 9, 2014
How does Williams quickly establish Stanley as the plays antagonist? Firstly if we are to establish Stanley as the plays antagonist then we need to begin by looking at the protagonist of the play. Blanche Dubois is the protagonist and as the play develops we can begin to see that Stanley develops in to the antagonist. The two characters are the polar opposite of one another, Blanche is described as beautiful and moth like which allows us to see that she is very delicate and by the name ‘Blanche’ which means white we can see that she has a vulnerable and insecure nature, whereas Stanley is juxtaposed to Blanche, she wears white however Stanley wears ‘polka-dot drawers’ and mainly coloured garments. The contrast between the two is shown through the clothes they wear and their values. Williams establishes Stanley as the plays antagonist from scene one when he is first introduced to the audience. From the off the audience gets a sense of Stanley’s animalistic qualities that are predominantly shown through the stage directions and the way he speaks to Blanche in particular. Williams uses stage directions to give the audience a detailed description of Stanley as a character, he emphasises Stanley as being animalistic; ‘Drunk – drunk – animal thing, you!’ This is a quote said by Stella, Stanley’s wife. By the use of the words ‘animal thing’ the audience gets a sense of something that is beastly and it highlights his primitive nature. Also by describing him as a ‘thing’ rather than a man or other we can really see his true nature as being someone that is violent and bestial. This presents him as the antagonist as he is shown as the ‘bad guy’ in the sense that he is described in a negative way that is the opposite of Blanche who is the protagonist. ‘Stanley carries his bowling jacket and a red-stained package from a butcher’s.’ Stanley is the epitome of the stereotypical ‘man’ within the relationship. ‘red stained package from the butchers’ shows us that he is the...
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