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Stanley, Blanche and A Streetcar Named Desire

            A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, tells a story set in 1920's New Orleans, where a man and his sister-in-law meet for the first time and develop a very tumultuous relationship. Blanche DuBois, a penniless woman with a past full of grief from many relationships, arrives at her sister's, Stella Kowalski's, house to live for a number of months. Throughout that time, Blanche forms a negative relationship with Stella's husband, Stanley, which contains numerous fights, insults, and abuse between the two parties. Even though the hatred is mutual, Stanley's naturally aggressive and animalistic behavior towards both Blanche and Stella easily paints him as the villain of the play. While Stanley is not characterized as evil for his initial petty disputes with Blanche, his animalistic behavior escalates, until he finally rapes Blanche and assumes the role of a villain.
             Because Blanche constantly ridicules Stanley in the initial phases of the play, Stanley is justifiably annoyed with Blanche's superior attitude and annoying behavior. Blanche is the guest of Stanley and Stella, and Stanley is the host, so common customs, even in the 1920's, say that each should show mutual respect toward each other. In one of their conversations, Blanche inquires about Stanley's astrological sign and says, "I bet you were born under Aries. Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on noise! They love to bang things around! You must have had lots of banging around in the army". (Scene 4) Although Stanley is a loud and hardy man, Blanche denounces his behavior and even negatively comments on his time in the army. Blanche is at fault here for criticizing Stanley while concentrating on his flaws. In another section in scene four, Blanche converses with Stella and says, "He [Stanley] acts like an animal eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something sub-human something ape-like about him".

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