A Streetcar Named Desire

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Storyboard Description

Analyzing the character of Stella Kowalski

Storyboard Text

  • Stella Kowalski
  • First Key Moment
  • "Well, you're taking entirely too much for granted."
  • "I can't believe you're in earnest"
  • Explanation for First Key Moment
  • In this scene, Blanche and Stella are arguing about the events with Stanley the night before. Stanley had thrown a fit and had hit a pregnant Stella. Blanche has said that Stella was just talking about “Desire”, something that she just won’t let go. Stella is stubborn and refuses Blanche’s accusations because she does not believe that Stanley did anything wrong, it was just that they saw him at his worst. As the novel progresses, Stella demonstrates just how she devotes herself to this desire and not see the truth. Even though women had been given more rights in the 1920s, Stella shows just how skeptical they were in accepting these rights. Change is not easy, and it’s not something that people can accept right away because they have not experienced in it. The streetcar is a symbolic representation of Stella in that it “bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another” because that is what Stella indicates with her personality and actions. A streetcar carries people up and down the town but never leaves it and that is what Stella does. Given the many opportunities to leave New Orleans, she decides to stay and take the streetcar all over town. It seems Stella has no intention of ever leaving New Orleans or her abusive relationship.
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  • Stella Kowalski is the younger sister of BlancheDuBois and the wife of Stanley Kowalski. Tennessee Williams portrays Stella asa calm, and reasonable high-class woman living in New Orleans. Her downfall isthat she refuses to believe in reality; she bases everything on her fantasiesrather than the reality of society. Stella becomes a victim of domestic violencewhen she commits to male domination and her way of justifying such actions fromher husband. “But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in thedark--that sort of make everything else seem—unimportant” due to the fact thatStella won’t see that these are just not acceptable. As the novel reveals Stella’shypocritical attitude towards her sister, it unfolds the betrayal of Stellathat causes her sister to be taken away to an asylum. Stella’s silence makesher vulnerable to stop anything from happening and portrays her as a betrayerto those around her. 
  • Second Key Moment
  • "Don't ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you've got to keep on going.
  • "What you are talking about is brutal desire--just--Desire!--the name of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another..." (Scene 4)
  • Explanation for Second Key Moment
  • In this scene, Stelladistrust in her sister’s story has led Blanche straight into the asylum. Stella has betrayed her sister and portrayed the notion that she only cares about herself and her desires. A drunk Stanley took advantage of a drunk Blanche while Stella is in the delivering room. Blanche has taken the responsibility for her abuse since no one will believe that Stanley will ever do such a thing; especially Stella who takes the side of Stanley no matter what. In an instance, Stella recognizes what terrible deed her husband has done to her own sister. However, Eunice has persuaded Stella to forget about such things and move on from it. AlthoughStella feels remorse for leaving her sister to suffer alone, she decides to escape reality and pretend nothing ever happened. Her “desires”, as Blanche puts it, has taken a toll on her only family member. The idea that she does not do anything to help Blanche, suggest that she does not have the confidence to explain and take a stand. Although she does speak up on occasions, she keeps silence when she knows it will cause a damage to her life. Hypocrisy has filled up Stella from head to toe considering she has no motivation to change anything that will slightly change the course of her life. This is yet another example of how women did not know what their rights were considering their rights were passed for more than 20 years.
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  • Synthesis
  • The novel is set around 20 years later when women gain their rights and privileges in the UnitedStates. However, Tennessee Williams portrays Stella as a woman who does not know how to handle such rights and is silent to not raise any controversial issues. Living under high society in New Orleans, Stella takes care of anyissue and accepts any consequence that results from the it. Blanche sees therelationship of Stanley and Stella as unhealthy, aggressive, and a situation thatneeds to be stopped. On the other hand, Stella does not mind such actionscoming from her husband and she justifies every aggressive behavior he does to her.The desire to have a “complete” family with both parents is a determination Stellasets out for no matter if can destroy her as a person. She accepts this aggressivelove from her husband and misinterprets his intentions with every other womanthat he encounters. Stanley’s abusive behavior suggest that Blanche was not hisfirst victim and Stella’s justifications also suggest that she acknowledges thesevictims. We can infer that she may not want to speak up due to the fear ofbeing left alone now that she will have a baby or maybe because she does notcare necessarily for what her husband does because those are just what men do,according to Stella. The point Williams makes in her play is that humans tendto stay away from the truth knowing well that it is clear and present. Stella triescountless of times to avoid the truth behind her relationship with Stanley dueto the fact that she does not want to accept the change that will come if shedoes ever speak up. Which takes on the other point Williams makes about societynot wanting to adjust to change. As mention before, women now had the rightsthey had asked for but nobody really wanted to be the first one to speak upabout it. The truth can be reckless and it is something humans don’t bothertesting its wrath. Stella successfully portrays these points that TennesseeWilliams makes.  
  • “I couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley.” (Scene 11)
  • "I couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley.
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  • Carmen Jimenez  7th period 
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