Women In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire And Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

878 words - 4 pages

Women in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

The part of Stella and Linda are both archetypal female figures in
that they follow the typical fictional role of the submissive wife and
mother. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella DuBois (renamed Mrs.
Stanley Kowalski) supports and forgives her husband, defending him
against any criticism. Likewise, in Death of a Salesman, Linda - the
only female character with any import - is a meek, timid figure around
her husband. This weakness is underscored by the sentence structure
and diction that each character uses when in conflict with their
husband. As both Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller are men, it can
be seen that their female characters tend to be what men would desire
in women, without giving a too-accurate portrayal of an actual person.
Stella and Linda are both symbols of the deferential wife and mother,
not convincing portraits of women.

Stella and Linda are both thought of only in relation to the other
characters. They exist to support their husbands and defend them from
other characters. Both Stella and Linda attempt to blind themselves to
their husbands' flaws, and apologize to other characters for their
husbands' actions. When Stanley gets drunk, smashes the radio and
window, and hits Stella, Stella must apologize to Blanche for
Stanley's behavior: "He's half-drunk!"; "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." All that Stella can do is make excuses
for his behavior, not blaming him for anything: "People have got to
tolerate each others' habits, I guess." It is in this scene (4) that
the audience truly sees Stella as a woman who will give her husband
anything, including the excuses he needs to continue his behavior -
"you saw him at his worst last night." Linda, as well, must excuse
Willy's continual shouting and talking to himself: "It's when you come
home he's always the worst." She blinds herself to Willy's flaws and
mental instability - "It'll pass by morning." - and it is this
blindness that helps him in his downward stumble. It is possible that
many men desire this sort of unconditional support and forgiveness -
who ever wants to be blamed for their mistakes and behavior - but it
is unrealistic to show a woman who tolerates this action even to the
point that they end up hurting their husband, or another character.
Linda's blindness leads indirectly to Willy's suicide, and Stella's
unwillingness to open her eyes to Stanley's actions ends with Blanche
being taken away to a mental institution.

Both of these characters also forgive their husbands in spite of their
abuse, and back down during any conflict. Stella in scene 3 is hit by
Stanley; during the poker scene he "gives a loud whack...

Find Another Essay On Women in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

Tennessee Williams' "A streetcar named desire"

1152 words - 5 pages Tennessee Williams's play, "A Streetcar Named Desire," contains more within its characters, situations and story than appears on its surface. Symbolism and interesting characters are used a lot in order to draw in and involve the audience. The plot of "A Streetcar Named Desire" alone does not captivate the audience. It is Williams's brilliant and intriguing characters that make the reader truly understand the play's meaning. He also presents a

"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

614 words - 2 pages Jim Harrison once said that "We must live with our loneliness and we must not destroy ourselves with our passion to escape our loneliness." Or in other words we all have the desire for attention and to know that we are loved, but there are more important priorities that come before these wants. In the play "A Streetcar named Desire" There are 2 characters that portray the truth in this quotation. Tennessee Williams Uses two different people in

Tennessee Williams - "A Streetcar Named Desire"

2035 words - 8 pages Tennessee Williams was once quoted as saying "Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama...the purest language of plays" (Adler 30). This is clearly evident in A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Williams's many plays. I n analyzing the main character of the story, Blanche DuBois, it is crucial to use both the literal text as well as the symbols of the story to get a complete and thorough understanding of her.Before one can understand

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

1203 words - 5 pages classes were pushed together in the same world. This is shown when Stanley and Blanche meet each other, and their opposite lifestyles are obvious. Stanley is sweaty, dirty, and rude; whereas Blanche is well dressed and soft spoken.      In A Streetcar named Desire, Tennessee Williams presented to us the character of Blanche Dubois. She was the haggard and fragile southern beauty whose happiness was cruelly destroyed. She

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

1566 words - 6 pages In Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Stella and Stanley Kowalski live in the heart of poor, urban New Orleans in a one-story flat very different from the prestigious home Stella came from. This prestige is alive and well inside Stella’s lady-like sister, Blanche Du Bois. Over the course of Blanche’s life, she has experienced many tragedies that deeply affected her, such as the death of her gay husband, the downward

"A StreetCar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

2513 words - 10 pages In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams uses the combined effects of lighting, sound, costume and symbolism to influence and control the audience's response. The play is intentionally an emotive one. It evokes an emotional response from the audience that is not necessarily reasoned or logical. The response to Streetcar is generally a uniformed one. As emotional as it is, by the end of the play most of the audience feels the same way

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

1172 words - 5 pages Street Car Named Desire A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, has been called the best play ever written by an American. The geological setting of the play, New Orleans, creates a remarkably blended mood of decadence, nostalgia, and sensuality. The plot of the play comes about through the conflict between a man and his sister-in-law who comes to live at his house with he and his wife. Stanley Kowalski immediately

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

1886 words - 8 pages The play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, manipulates the ideas of Men and women’s roles in society as well as the unmaintained sexual desire between the two. During the era of the 1950’s, marriage was between a man and woman and vows were seldom broken. Gender roles were for the most part set in stone. The women would cook dinner, watch the kids, and clean the house. Men of the 1950’s would go to work and work all day to

"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

2176 words - 9 pages "desire". Tennessee uses a metaphor to represent her journey, "They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields!", the streetcars represent directly Blanche's journey and the journey that her other male relatives took with "desire" and then of "Cemeteries" which represents their death or downfall. The journey for Blanche ends at Elysian Fields, the Kowalski's

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

2331 words - 9 pages A Streetcar Named Desire From the beginning, the three main characters of Streetcar are in a state of tension. Williams establishes that the apartment is small and confining, the weather is hot and oppressive, and the characters have good reason to come into conflict. The South, old and new, is an important theme of the play. Blanche and her sister come from a dying world. The life and pretensions of their world are becoming a thing of

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

701 words - 3 pages Adversity can cause an individual to overcome their challenges and strengthen their identity, however, it can also have the opposite negative effect. Adversity can trigger an individual to lose their identity in their attempt to escape from their problems. In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, Blanche DuBois is unable to face adversity, which leads her to lose her individual identity during her attempt to escape reality

Similar Essays

Reality And Illusion In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

1693 words - 7 pages A Streetcar Named Desire, first published in 1947, is considered a landmark play for the 20th century American drama, bringing author Tennessee Williams a Pulitzer Prize. One of its most important themes deals with the contrast between reality and illusion. The aim of this essay is to examine how this contrast is reflected in the way the main character constructs her identity. As Ruby Cohn calls it in his essay “The Garrulous Grotesque of

Tennessee Williams' Use Of Symbolism In A Streetcar Named Desire

1894 words - 8 pages Tennessee Williams' Use of Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire Many playwrights use the technique of symbolism in their plays because it adds to the dramatic impact and allows the playwright to give the audience a deeper understanding of the play on a different level; this makes the play more interesting. Symbolism can be used to add tension to a scene, to foreshadow certain events in a play or even to give us a

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

1356 words - 5 pages In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, he evaluates Blanche’s struggle to accept reality. Williams brings to the attention of the audience that Blanche has psychological issues; therefore, she cannot decipher between fact and fiction, or is it her choice to deny reality? Blanche DuBois, Williams’ most famous Southern belle finally resolves a lifetime of psychological conflicts (Rusinko 2738). Blanche tries to live a life of both

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams 1669 Words

1669 words - 7 pages of these men may have been from different time periods but they are the same when it comes to their attitudes towards leadership, treatment of women, and their way to confirm assumptions. In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire and William Shakespeare’s famous Tragedy Othello, Stanley and Othello sensitivity to their racial stereotypes encourage their strong leadership qualities to disprove the preconceived notions people have