Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Essay on A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay on A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, reflects how "desire leads to destruction" through the characters of Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois. Stanley Kowalski's desire to always have what he wants causes him to say or do negative things to Stella and Blanche. Blanche Dubois desire to be better than her sister and the center of attention leads Blanche to be mentally unstable.

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Stanley Kowalski has a tendency to try and control everything which leads him to hit his wife Stella who is expecting a baby and rape his sister in law Blanche. The reason Stanley's character wants to be powerful is because he wants to be respected. Stanley knows that he is "common" and knows that Blanche believes that her sister is too good for him. In Scene four, Blanche tells Stella "It's just this. This is how I look at it. A man like that is someone to go out with once-twice- three times when the devil is in you. But live with? Have a child by?" Blanche tells Stella this because in the previous scene Stanley hit Stella and she goes back to their apartment and sleeps with him which bewilders Blanche. Stella tells Blanche "But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark- that sort of make everything else seem -- unimportant." Blanche tries to make her sister see that she has been blinded by Stanley's sex appeal "What you are talking about is brutal desire just- desire!"

Stanley's desire to hold power over everyone makes him rape Blanche while Stella is in the hospital giving birth to their child. He rapes Blanche to show her that he can have whatever he wants. Stanley tells Blanche just before he rapes her "We've had this date with each other from the beginning". This is the major cause which drives Blanche over the edge which makes her go to the insane asylum. Blanche tells Stella that Stanley raped her but Stella wants to believe it isn't true but in reality she knows that Stanley did rape Blanche. In Scene eleven, Stella tells Eunice "I couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley." Although Stanley does not crumble himself, the people around him suffer greatly from his actions and desires.

Blanche Dubois tries to put the blame for everything that went wrong in her life on Stella. "Where were you? In bed with your- Polack!" Blanche tries to live in the past when things were a lot easier for her and she does not want to face the future. She constantly lies about her age and what brought her to New Orleans to spend time with her sister. All of these things lead to the destruction of Blanche which leaves her in the insane asylum.

A Streetcar Named Desire truly shows that fulfilling your desires isn't always the right thing to do. Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois suffer greatly because they try to act out their desires.
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