A streetcar named desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams during the post-war period. It centralizes on the protagonist, Blanche DuBois. Having lost practically everything, she goes to her sister Stella, to find asylum. Tensions grow as she encounters the protagonist, Stanley Kolwezi, her brother in law. Stanley is in immigrant who is the ‘king’ of the house and clashes with Blanche’s arrival. William employs these two contrasting characters on the fall of the civilized America (represented by Blanche) and the rise of industrialized America (represented by Stanley). William employs a tragic ending to assert the patriarchal society during the time. This essay will examine how the theme of homosexuality, dominance and submissive and a sexist society would have been different if it were written today.
Understanding the time of production of the play, is crucial in gaining a deeper insight on why the gender roles differs immensely in the modern period. It was produced in post WWII when domestic violence was common and it was a way to obtain desired behavior from one’s wife. Stanley is the “king” of the house and he expects Stella to follow his orders. He calls her a “baby doll” -“a vapid, passive character with little personality of her own”. She is questioned when she gives Stanley orders. Even when Stella is beaten she uses his drunkenness as an excuse. Women were used as an object for sexual pleasure, as a machine, to produce babies, food and expected to follow the husband’s order. If we look at this from a modern perspective, females have become self-reliant. Movements such as the feminist movement demand equality and if we don’t get it we fight for out rights. There are countless numbers of single moms that have been handling babies themselves, however only reason why Stella chose to be with Stanley was also the baby that acted as a bridge. After he beats Stella, he asserts “sure my boy is okay”, this proves how girls weren’t raised as equally as the boys. Now, saying that would be considered unethical and illicit as we have grown more towards equality.——explaination
If you look at the tragedy of Blanche, from a modern perspective we have sympathy and a victim and the double standards of the society is what out casted her. . She tries to seduce Stella’s husband in myriad ways; by spraying perfume and flirting. Likewise, Stanley is not much different than her. “Crude images” flash into his mind as “he seizes women at a glance and his “life has been pleasure with women”. However, when Blanche was found having “intimacies with strangers” she is considered to be “not clean enough”. Stanley thought of her as a “loud-mouthed, flirtatious whore who really asked for what she got” by raping her. Sharing the same mindset, the audience applauded to the scene. The double standards of the society prove Stanley’s actions to be ” powerful and masculine”. In contrast Blanche’s actions are seen as “weakness” and Now Blanche wouln’t be viewed too different from Stanley. Both men both have the same sexual right. It’s equal for both man and women to sleep rape, whether it is martial or under any circumstances is strictly illicit.
If the play were to be written today, homosexuality is one of the aspects that modern audience would definitely be open about. Homosexuality during that time was endorsed and like the mentally ill, there threaten societal values. When Allan Grey revealed his adultery, Blanche was ” disgusted. Euphuisms such as “he had a nervousness that wasn’t like a man’s” and a “degenerate” was used to silently describe his homoerotic attributes. Blanche considers herself as a “maid” or “single women” rather than a widow. Additionally, during the movie production, the censor board demanded to change the fact that Allan was a homosexual. If was produced in the modern times, no censor board would demand changes on just taking about homosexuality. Countless numbers of movies have been produced such as…. that and the audience would be more open and not be considered taboo.