Stanley Kowalski As an Egalitarian Hero in The Film “A Streetcar Named Desire”

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Stanley Kowalski has a major role in the film adaptation “A Streetcar Named Desire” where audiences everywhere consider Stanley to be an egalitarian hero that possesses physical and mental strength. With these things in mind, it effectively shows his characterization throughout the whole story because of his gender, class and history. Be careful with your word choice ‘egalitarian’.

The first key evidence of Stanley having a big role in the story is his own gender because it affects his character a lot as throughout the whole story, we see that males are considered to be very controlling of other women and also has a muscular body. His lack of control is what creates a major conflict both internally and externally as we see in Scene 3 where he loses his temper because Blanche kept on playing music while he is playing poker with his friends while he is sober which causes him to accidently hit his wife Stella and he later feels tearful by saying “Stella! My baby doll’s left me! I want my baby! Stella! Stella!” (Williams 30) which shows that he didn’t mean to hit Stella and that he simply just lost control. We later hear from Stella in which she says “He didn’t know what he was doing….He was as good as a lamb when I came back and he’s really very, very ashamed of himself.” (Williams 63) as it shows in Stanley’s character that he calms down instantly whenever Stella comes to help him and how she herself understands Stanley well enough to know exactly how to calm him down. This conflict is an example of an internal conflict towards himself because he has trouble controlling himself as a person. Yes, this interpretation of yours does demonstrate internal conflict, and you provide good evidence for it. Your structure needs to be more clear though, I think you are looking at Stanley’s physical power through the lens of gender here, but it needs to be clearer.

However when it comes to the external conflicts he has with other people in the story, it shows fully with his relationship with Blanche, Stella’s sister as he has immense hatred for her mainly for her past of being untrustworthy and does not appreciate how she tries to fool other people into thinking she’s better than they are. Throughout the majority of the story, Mitch tries to observe Blanche by investigating her past in which he considers everything she says to be a lie. Later on, he tells Stella that he discovered Blanche’s past which he explains that after she lost the DuBois Mansion, she moves to a fleabag hotel from which she was eventually evicted because of her numerous sexual liaisons and also about how she lost her job as a schoolteacher due to having an affair with a teenage student and later tells Mitch about it in hopes that his relationship with Blanche gets corrupted and gives Blanche a birthday gift to her of a one-way bus ticket back to Laurel and finally in the climax he starts to rape Blanche which results in her being taken away into an insane asylum. Try to avoid too much plot summary. Include your own ideas here. Stanley also has a brief conflict with Stella since we know that he hits her while he is sober and at the very end of the film adaptation, Stella decides to leave Stanley after she heard that he raped Blanche which caused her to become mentally insane. All of this shows how he is extremely stubborn and controlling since he wants everything going in his way which makes him lose control.

The second key evidence of Stanley having a big role in the story is his class as he is considered a low class character, used to be soldier that fought in World War 2 and now works as an auto-parts salesman. At this point in the story, you have two main arguments – the first about Stanley having a big role in the story (and that you want to explore this through his gender, class, etc – and the second argument about internal and external conflicts. You need to pick the strongest one, and structure your ideas around it. Since he used to be a soldier, it can show a clue to his character as he is a muscular person and is often aggressive towards other people particularly towards both Blanche and Stella. In Scene 8, Stanley reveals to us that his parents are from Poland and shows his disgust towards being called “Polack” over her derogatory remarks about his Polish ethnicity and says “I am not a Polack. People from Poland are Poles, not Polacks. But what I am is a one hundred percent American, born and raised in the greatest country on earth and proud as hell of it, so don’t ever call me a Polack.” (Williams 110) which indicates that he was born in America and that he doesn’t want to be considered a “Polack” but instead can only be called a “Polish” as if he was considered an American citizen.

The final key evidence of Stanley having a big role in the story is the history as it was written around time where movies were not allowed to reveal smoking, sexuality, rape, etc. In almost every scene, we see Stanley smoking and drinking at least once throughout the whole movie like how in the first scene of the story where he first meets Blanche, they first talk about alcohol where Blanche says “No, I — rarely touch it.” (Williams 30) and then Stanley responds with “Some people rarely touch it, but it touched them often.” (Williams 30) which is significant to the story since it foreshadows to how Stanley will act like eventually and how he will lose control throughout the story.

The foreshadowing is later be shown in Scene 3 where Stanley becomes sober which causes him to lose control and hit Stella and his friends had to give him a shower to calm him down and finally using rape towards Blanche while both him and Blanche were sober as shown where the mirror shatters in the climax of the story in Scene 10. The overall history effectively shows how men like Stanley were like in the old days.

Stanley’s role in A Streetcar Named Desire effectively shows the theme of gender roles as we see his character based of his own gender showing himself losing control to take advantage of both Stella and Blanche and using his muscular body to verbally abuse both of them, how his class affects his character of being aggressive and having a muscular body, and finally how his own history effectively shows drug and alcohol use from Stanley which overall effectively shows how big of a major role Stanley plays during the whole story.

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