Gender roles in A Streetcar Named Desire
How does playwright Tennessee Williams use the character's actions, description, or words to make a strong statement about gender in our society? Blanche's younger sister, Stella is introduced as a "gentle young woman, about twenty five" who contains a mild disposition similar to her sister and an aristocratic heritage in which she marries Stanley.
First Key Moment, Stella: "There's plenty of time to ask her questions later but if you do now she'll go to pieces again. I don't understand what happened to Belle Reve but you don't know how ridiculous you are being when you suggest that my sister or I or anyone of our family could have perpetrated a swindle on anyone else".
The first key moment depicts Stella's initial encounter with Stanley's authoritative demeanor. This not only shows the display of Stanley as an overwhelming hardship, but also how disproportionate the influence is between a man and woman. Stella's primary actions signify how patriarchy still commands society even today and how woman are seen as a minority in both political approaches and social intentions.
Second Key Moment Stella: "I said I am not in anything that I have a desire to get out of. Look at the mess in ,this room! And those 'empty bottles! They went through two cases last night! He promised this morning that he was going to quit having these poker parties, but you know how long such a promise is going to keep. Oh, well , it's his pleasure, like mine is movies and bridge. People have got to tolerate each other's habits, I guess."
The second key moment described in Stella's statement not only shows her general acceptance to spousal abuse, but also her defined position in passive response. This contributes heavily to the immediate role of women where acceptance to male ascendancy is an unequal calibration of both sides. In our society, woman are economically degraded due to the circumstance that they face throughout their livelihood.
With the parameter of both moments, the substantial role of genders in our society become inherently depicted through Williams use of Stella as a characterizing individual. This is not only due to the inequities she faces against Stanley, but also how her passive demeanor significantly correlates to the modern wave of feminism in defined issues.
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