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Male Dominance Essay

1319 words - 6 pages

“He’s not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he’s what we need to mix with our blood” (Williams 1794). Stanley’s wife’s sister, Blanche, has come to live with him and his wife, Stella. Tennessee Williams depicts a man who is a true blue-collared man infatuated with the female gender. In, A Streetcar Named Desire, Stanley exhibits his sexuality and his dominance to assert that he is in control of the house.
Williams makes Stanley’s dominance evident when he first introduces Blanche to Stanley. During this first encounter, Stanley doesn’t mind at all to make sure that Blanche knows that it is his house that she has come to stay at. As Stanley does take the time to simply ask ...view middle of the document...

He makes the statement, “Nothing belongs on a poker table but cards, chips, and whisky” (1794). Through this statement Stanley is able to profess his opinions and rules of the game, again while reiterating his dominance. He treats Stella and Blanche as they are just somebodies, referring to them as “women” rather than by their names or ladies (1796). Stella is so used to Stanley empowerment over her that it doesn’t even seem to bother her and brushes it off her shoulder.
The dominance that Stanley has on his wife, Stella, is physical attraction that has escaladed into physical aggression. Following poker night at Stanley and Stella’s house, Stanley has appeared to drink too much. Stanley is attracted to Stella sexually, and wants her for sexual intentions at this time. Blanch is feeling threatened and scared for both herself and her sister as she states, “Stella, watch out, he’s-“ (1800). At this moment Blanche knows that Stanley is physically dangerous. Stanley then attacks Stella through stage direction signaling, “the sound of a blow, Stella cries out. Blanche screams.” Using his male demeanor, he has committed a domestic violence act. Blanche is appalled by the fact that Stanley has just physically assaulted his wife, her sister. Why would Stella stay with a man whom has complete domination both verbally and physically over her? “He’s like an animal, has an animal’s habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There’s even something—sub-human—something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something—ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I’ve seen in—anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is—Stanley Kowalski—survivor of the Stone Age!” Blanche shares her opinion about Stanley to Stella (1807). The words that Blanche uses are never less perfect of whom Stanley is. He’s an animal in more ways than one.
From the first moment that Blanche and Stanley met, Stanley was never afraid to be so verbally blunt with Blanche causing conflict between the two. Williams makes it evident that Stanley wants to know every detail about Blanche’s past. She announces to Stella and Stanley that she has lost Belle Reve, the plantation she was staying at, to bankruptcy. Stanley has a hard time believing the fact that it so happened because Blanche has no documentation. This then leads Stanley to suspicion of her past and once he finds out about the “truth” he does everything to take her down. He informs Blanche with his knowledge of the “Napoleonic Code” and that what belongs to Stella, belongs to him (1793). Again, using his masculinity to be blunt and to make sure Blanche knows he is in charge of his wife and their blue-collar house. Stanley has gotten fed up with Blanche and surprised...

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