Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus Mississippi but moved to St. Louis to begin writing. Growing up he had a strange relationship with his parents, they were not exactly the best parents and their marriage too was not exactly great they had many downfalls due to his father being very violent, aggressive and an alcoholic and his mother being very protective. He based many of his experiences in his famous book “A streetcar named desire”. He also spoke of very taboo subjects that were avoided by other authors because those topics were not accepted by society, such as the many topics that take part in the book. A streetcar named desire helps readers understand the social and political tensions that were taken place during the ending of the second world war, such as the old fashioned values where traditional gender roles became popular once again and the nation trying to figure out their sense of identity due to economic progress.
A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams is a play taking place in the 1940’s in New Orleans. The story revolves around the life of Blanche Dubois and her journey. The book demonstrates how being masculine and feminine can have a big impact on how gender roles are portrayed in society. Gender roles in the play match up pretty well with what was going on in the world at that time. Even though women’s opinion and sense of being did not matter that time period Blanche is able to challenge Stanley and constantly makes comments which takes away the power that men. Being a woman during that time period was hard because both Blanche and Stella depended on men and were a representation of stereotypes in their era and conveyed the dominant ideas about genders. Throughout this play, many characters challenge the roles they are expected to comply with in regard to their gender. In the play “A Streetcar Named desire” Tennessee Williams is able to showcase a narrative within the role in which women had to conform or be forced into societies new way of thinking and he uses the play as a social commentary on the consequences of women who chose to against the societal norms.
Tish, Dace, lays out a run-through of the play A Streetcar Named Desire by author Tennessee Williams, showcasing the known characteristics of the play’s protagonist and antagonist. He describes Blanche’s character as thorough as he mentions how she can disguise herself and her hopelessness. He does the same with Stanley’s as he explains his apparent motives against Blanche as well as blanches masculinity. Dace is also able to provide us with an insight of how women were treated during the 1940s also briefing us on rape during that time period and how it was seen and how women were silenced for telling their truths and an insight of how they are treated today. Dace is also able to use Williams quotes and experiences to validate his point. Furthermore, Dace’s was not able to dive into Stella’s character but was able to dissect the provided evidence on the characters, plot and relations of the world.
I do agree with Dace’s critique because Stella and Balance were able to showcase two sides of femininity in the play but still found themselves depending on men they see their relationship with the men in their lives as the only way of fulfilling happiness. Blanched showcases an innocent version of femininity to make men believe that she dedicate because that is the only way men are attracted to her. She tries to help Stella into leaving Stanley due to his abusive side, but her solution also resides to her depending on a man. Blanche’s past marriage is what caused to be so emotionally dependent on a man which lead men into taking advantage of her fragile side, but we can also see Blanche’s masculine side when she uses the same strengths as Stanley to sexually exploit men to make her feel better about herself. Stella on the other hand is not scared to showcase her true self she decides to continue living under the dependence of Stanley because she needs to be loved and even though Stanley continuously abuses her to get his ways, she does not want to leave her relationship.
Blanche is always trying to hide in the shadows due to reason that she does not want to show men that she is aging, she is always trying to hide her age line on her face because she is trying to hide from society itself “… turn that over-light off! turn that off! I won’t be looked at in this merciless glare” (Tennessee 1).Blanche could not accept that she is aging she needs compliments to reassure her and her insecurities are the main reason as to why her desires is what is controlling her life.
In conclusion both stacey and blanche had ways to act upon their desires in a positive way but instead they let their desires control their lives and they end up losing themselves in the process and everything they love.Tennessee Williams is able to showcase a narrative within the role in which women had to conform or be forced into societies new way of thinking and he uses the play as a social commentary on the consequences of women who chose to go against the societal norms.