Blanche Dubois is a former school teacher from Laurel, Mississippi as well as the sister of Stella DuBois. Having lost her job, husband, and family estate, Blanche has come to stay with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley in New Orleans, Louisiana.
How does playwright Tennessee Williams use the character's actions, description, or words to make a strong statement about gender in our society.
"He's like an animal. He has an animal's habits. There's even something subhuman about him. Thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is. Stanley Kowalski, survivor of the Stone Age, bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle. And you - you here waiting for him. Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you, that's if kisses have been discovered yet."(Blanche)
By Blanches saying this about Stanley, she helps reveal a prominent perception of the male persona as being one of toughness and aggressiveness. throughout the novel, the ongoing battle between the romantic and idealistic Blanche and the staunch realist Stanley enables Williams to communicate this dichotomy between the male and female of our society.
"I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth. " (Blanche)
This statement by Blanche achieves the purpose of portraying herself as an innocent and guileless character. though this could be seen a s a good thing, it can also be interpreted as defining the female personage as unsophisticated and even ignorant relative to the male identity.
Williams is able to reveal the contrasting societal views of the different gender roles of men and women through many of the statements made by Blanche.Through both the diverging perceptions of reality as well as the opposing personalities of the two genders, the playwright is enabled to relay how society often views the male and female images as antithetical.
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