Sexually and emotionally Stanley and Stella are both dependent on each other as

Sexually and emotionally stanley and stella are both

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Sexually and emotionally, Stanley and Stella are bothdependent on each other, as can be seen when the couplemake up at the end of Scene 3. However one of Stanley's maindesires is to be the head of his household, or the king of hiscastle. In this respect he and Stella follow traditional genderroles. Because he is the bread winner and physically stronger,Stanley has the dominant role in their relationship. But thepower struggle between Stanley and Blanche threatensStanley's position in his home. Stella seems to share Blanche'spoint of view, at least temporarily, when she calls her husbandan "animal thing." After he hits her, she leaves him withBlanche's help, escaping to Eunice's apartment.Blanche and Mitch's dialogue expands the theme of truthversus illusion. They talk about how people who experiencedeep sorrow tend to be sincere or truthful. However theirdiscussion is an instance of dramatic irony: the audienceknows something that one or more of the characters do not, inthis case, that Blanche is lying to Mitch. She falls back into herladylike act, saying she is not used to having more than onedrink. Mitch believes her, but the audience knows Blanche'sstatement is untrue. Later Blanche claims Stella is less than ayear older than her, but the audience knows that Stella is quitea bit younger than her sister. Nevertheless Blanche's demureflirtatiousness works like a tonic on Mitch, who seemsenraptured by her wiles.Williams uses light during this exchange as a symbol of thecontrast between truth versus illusion. For example, Blanchedoes not like the harsh glare of a naked light bulb, a symbol ofher resistance to exposing ugly truths. She asks Mitch to placea paper Chinese lantern over a light bulb, saying, "I can't standa naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark." Shefeels comfortable in the soft light cast by the lantern, whichhelps to hide her age by making her appear younger. Incontrast Stanley and his friends play poker in the glare of abulb in a green glass shade hanging from the kitchen ceiling, alight so strong it partially illuminates the bedroom. This harshlight represents Stanley's belief in brutal honesty.Stella's return to Stanley conveys the intensity of their desirefor each other, but also raises uncomfortable questions abouttheir marriage. Blanche is right to wonder what drives Stella toreturn to Stanley, who has just hit Stella, knowing that she ispregnant. Is Stella that dependent on Stanley? Is she thatoverwhelmed by her sexual passion for him? By her love forhim? Does Stanley scream for Stella because he desires her orloves her or because he needs to re-establish his dominanceover her? Perhaps all these possibilities are true. The playprovides no easy answers.
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A Streetcar Named Desire Study GuideScene Summaries 15Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc.
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