Streetcar Storyboard Assignment
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Prompt: How does playwright Tennessee Williams use the character's actions, descriptions, or words to make a strong statement about gender in our society?
Stella is a "gentle young woman, about 25" who was born in aristocratic society but married a lower-class man out of love. She is quiet and submissive- completely devoted to her husband even though he beats her.
Scene 2 "Stella: Oh, Stan! [She jumps up and kisses him which he accepts with lordly composure] I'm taking Blanche to Galatoire's for supper and then to a show, because it's your pok'r night. Stan:How about my supper, huh? I'm not going to no Galatoire's for supper! Stella: I put you a cold plate on ice."
As soon as Stanley walks in, Stella immediately drops everything to kiss him because she adores him so. She then takes Blanche out so that Stanley can enjoy poker night with just the guys and makes sure to prepare dinner for him. Stella is a perfect example of what an ideal wife should be like in society back then. She worships her husband as if he's the king, or God. Also, for everything she does, she thinks about him before planning it; she plans a night out with Blanche to give Stanley his guys-only night and makes sure he is set. The way Stella reacts when Stanley is around and her actions shows how a woman's role in society is to serve her husband and that basically man is in charge so she should listen and do everything based on what he wants.
Scene 3 "Stanley[with heaven-splitting violence]: STELLLAHHHHH! [The low-tone clarinet moans. The door upstairs opens again. Stella slips down the rickety stairs in her robe. Her eyes are glistening with tears and her hair loose about her throat and shoulders. They stare at each other. Then they come together with low, animal moans. He falls to his knees on the steps and presses his face to her belly, curving a little with maternity. Her eyes go blind with tenderness as she catches his head and raises him level with her. He snatches the screen door open and lifts her off her feet and bears her into the dark flat.]"
Even though Stanley hit Stella badly, as soon as he starts calling and crying for her, she immediately returns to him because she loves him even if he hurts her. As soon as they meet, their love for each other shows and they go inside their flat together even though Stella was supposed to stay upstairs with Eunice. The actions of Stella even after Stanley has done something wrong shows how woman must do what the man wants. Stella is also blind with love for Stanley and cannot stand him hurting without realizing how wrong what he just did was. Women cannot even expect to be safe in their own homes and they do not realize how some things should not be okay such as abuse. This shows woman as the weaker gender in society with the man dominating in everything and whatever they do being okay.
The way Stella acts as soon as Stanley arrives or as soon as he asks for something shows how women in society are the weaker gender born to serve men. The first moment shows Stella worshipping Stanley with her love and attention. The second shows her coming back to him even after he did something wrong simply because he asked earnestly. Stella cannot help but being obedient because women are taught to be so since they are young. They are told whatever men do or say is right and thus spend their lives listening to the dominant gender. Stella is the ideal example of the type of woman wanted in a patriarchal society for she does what she is told without questioning how wrong or right some of the things done are. When we are taught something continuously from birth, it is almost impossible to lose that value or belief.
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