A Streetcar Named Desire

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Assignment for DeGroodt 3rd Period Emma Lieberom

Storyboard Text

  • H'lo. I'm Stanley. I live in 1947 New Orleans and I'm married to Stella DuBois, who is to be expecting my child soon. Her sister Blanche is also currently living with us and I can hardly stand it. I'm also a disgusting bigot who views women as property; pretty sure their only purpose is to serve men, and I also like to throw packages of meat at them. But you don't know that yet. Pleasure.
  • A brief introduction...
  • "Nobody's going to get up, so don't be worried."
  • First key moment...
  • [After being introduced] "Please don't get up."
  • Scene 3, pg 48
  • While there were a few accounts to gender norms before this one, this scene truly provided the reader insight as to the set up of society during this time. Stella had just introduced Blanche to the men playing poker in the room, and Stanley's response to her asking them not to stand not only characterized him as downright disrespectful, but by everyone in the room not even batting an eye at his remark gave the reader insight as to just how different times were back then. Clearly men had much more power over women, and could treat them or speak to them however they pleased; yet women could not do the same. They were disrespected and did not have a say the majority of the time, and that's just how it was! Williams used this scene to explain this gender norm, conveying that the treatment of women in the mid 1940's was a lot more primitive.
  • [... There is the sound of a blow. Stella cries out. Blanche screams and runs into the kitchen...]
  • "You lay your hands on me and I'll--"
  • "My sister is going to have a baby!"
  • Scene 3, pg 57
  • In this moment, Stella had just yelled at her husband after he had thrown the radio out of the window in a fit of rage. He then proceeded to chase her into the kitchen, where he physically abused her. While this does connect to gender norms at the time, what connects even more is the fact that nearly everyone in the room was okay with it, except for Stella and Blanche. The other men did come in and stopped Stanley from beating his wife even further, but that was it; no legal action was taken, no scolding. This shows how men could do nearly anything to their women without getting into trouble, because everyone was used to it! Through Stanley's actions, Williams conveyed the message of how it was very common for a man to beat his wife during that time, without being held accountable.
  • In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams used characters such as Stanley Kowalski to describe just what the societal norms were in 1947. Women were essentially just the property of men, to whom they could do as they please: beat them, rape them, assault them, all without being held accountable. Should they ever speak against it, men could simply call them crazy and have them admitted into a mental institution, which is what Stanley did to Blanche after she rightly accused him of rape. Women had little to no voice in society; they were only heard so long as they had a man by their side to agree with them. These gender norms during these times were very set in stone; should anything have happened otherwise, it would have been greatly looked down upon. This is like life because even in this day and age, women are still discriminated against and are belittled by men. It is improving, but still very prominent in modern times.
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