Stanley Kowalski

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  • Tennessee Williams uses the actions and words of Stanley Kowalski in order to to make a strong statement about gender in our society. This statement is that modern society strongly enforces the gap between each gender and how men are becoming more and more dominating over women. Stanley Kowalski is Stella's husband who "sizes women up at a glance, with sexual classifications" (Williams 21) He often makes derogatory statements and actions towards women that assert Williams' view about gender roles.
  • I'm Stanley.
  • "Oh! So you want some rough-house! All right, let's have some rough-house!" (Williams 141)
  • This key moment is when Stanley is alone with Blanche and makes her extremely uncomfortable and frightened by trying to make advances on her. Eventually, Blanche becomes a victim of Stanley's assault. This portrays gender commentary, because Stanley thinks he is entitled to do whatever he wants to Blanche due to her being a sensitive woman and feeling physically superior as a man. He also gets a thrill out of making women feel frightened and inferior. This connects to the prompt, because Stanley's violent words and actions towards Blanche implies the existing gender roles that allow Stanley to become dominant over Blanche and take complete advantage of her.
  • "I never met a woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and some of them give themselves credit for more than they've got." (Williams 34)
  • This key moment is when Stanley and Blanche first meet in the kitchen and Blanche admits that she wants him to compliment her looks. Stanley uses this to bash women for trying to get praise from others when he believes they are overrated anyway. This is an example of gender commentary, because Stanley is discussing his views towards overly-confident women and speaks as if he is almost offended by them. This moment connects to the prompt by portraying Williams' specific dialogue choice for Stanley as misogynistic. This makes the specific statement that gender roles are largely enforced in modern society and allow men to assert dominance over women with it being socially acceptable.
  • Tennessee Williams uses the actions and words of Stanley Kowalski in order to make the statement that gender roles are strongly enforced in society and have consequently resulted in misogyny and greater gaps between men and women. This is shown when Stanley claims women "give themselves credit for more than they've got" and also when he threatens Blanche by assuming that she "wants some rough-house". (Williams 34 & Williams 141) Both these moments from the play portray Stanley as a sexist character who gets his pleasure from the degradation of women. These two moments assert the idea of the greater divide between men and women, because it seems that Blanche has a harder time defending herself as a woman as the play progresses on and on. This is like life, because in modern day society, the freedom of choice for women is sometimes limited due to the opinions and decisions of men.
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