Masculine Power In Williams' 'a Streetcar Named Desire' Talbot Heath Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

‘The play admires masculine power – but is also aware of its drawbacks.’
How far and in what ways do you agree with this view of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.
In ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Williams expresses his admiration for masculine power through the character of Stanley; however, presents its drawbacks through his personality faults, as well as Mitch’s character. The idea of admiration suggests a certain worship towards the theme of masculinity, whereas the word ‘drawback’ signifies a downside or weakness within a topic or person. The playwright also conveys the concept of masculine power through the different roles of men and women in the post war period.
A way in which the play portrays admiration towards masculine power is through the character of Stanley Kowalski. He is portrayed as a symbol of masculine power and male dominance in the play: “Nothing belongs on the table but cards, chips and whiskey.” The firmness in is voice suggest the alpha-male of the poker party, as the strictness of his tone is indicated through the orderly structure of the statement. This is portrayed through the emphasis on Stanley’s physical body, being the epitome of masculinity: “He is of medium height, about five feet eight or nine, and strongly, compactly built.”. The image of his strength and muscly physique is proposed by the direct description. He is frequently mentioned by Williams stripping his shirt off, representing his sexual desire as a male: “My clothes’re stickin’ to me. Do you mind if I make myself comfortable? [He starts to remove his shirt.]”. The idea of presenting his masculine body through flirtatious commentary allows the audience to see his intentions and foreshadows his brute actions. Furthermore, the act of taking his shirt off immediately gives the impression that the question is rhetorical, as he shows no actual interest in Blanche’s answer, establish his position as head of the household with his masculinity. This links to the forcefulness of his clothing, as he dresses in bright, lurid colours, connecting Stanley’s masculinity to the ‘sub-human’: “Stanley, Steve, Mitch, and Pablo wear coloured shirts, solid blues, a purple, a red-and-white-check, a light green, and they are men at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colours.” The vibrancy of the colours is described as an image of male power, as they are the most prominent. The recurring motif of undressing himself allows the modern and post-war period audiences to be reminded of his masculine physique, admiring its beauty. Although, the character of Mitch can present masculine features, for instance, he also permits the appreciation of physical attractiveness, since he too boasts verbally of his form: “A man with a heavy build has got to be careful of what he puts on him so he don’t look too clumsy.” His physical pride is evident through his knowledgeable language. This concept of corporal masculine beauty, in which can be...

Other Essays On Masculine Power in Williams' 'A Streetcar Named Desire' - Talbot Heath - Essay

Comparison Between "King Lear" And "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1918 words - 8 pages Tracing Aristotle's tragic hero model in "King Lear" and "A Streetcar Named Desire":Aristotle defines tragedy as a form of drama which imitates noble people through artistically enhanced language and through pitiable and fearful incidents. According to Aristotle, tragedy involves several aspects that eventually lead to catharsis, an emotional cleansing of the audience. Some of these aspects include pity, fear, reversal and recognition. Reversal

A Clockwork Orange and A Streetcar Named Desire- Dysfunctional family relationships - Haybridge High School year 12 - Essay

1713 words - 7 pages Compare the methods used to present dysfunctional family relationship in the A Clockwork Orange and A Streetcar Named Desire. Burgess and Williams present dysfunctional family relationship in A Clockwork Orange and A Streetcar Named Desire through detachment, betrayal and abandonment. Dysfunctional family relationships within both texts is portrayed through detachment. In A Clockwork Orange Burgess’s childhood desire to have a mother and father

Compare and Contrast of symbols in Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar named Desire - IB LIT - Literature paper

1360 words - 6 pages Giovanna Amodio IB LIT 2 Mrs.Marusevich 4/5/2018 “Paper 2” Assessment: Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Façade: an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality. In both works of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams’ and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the main characters’ of each play put up what is known as a Façade throughout the entirety

"A Street Car Named Desire", By Tennessee Williams - Is Blanche Guilty Of Her Own Misfortunes?

618 words - 3 pages happened because of her own acts and she is totally responsible for them, the other character´s acts had an important influence on her and have a part of responsibility for her misfortunes.note: this essay has been written based on my personal point of view and based on the events ocurred in the book.bibliography: a street car named desire, by tennessee williams.

Streetcar Named Desire Reflection

773 words - 4 pages researchFINAL GRADE Based on 100 potential total points**NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS and YOU MUST TAKE EVERY EXAM. However, you will have the option of dropping your first test grade, assuming your midterm exam is satisfactory. In this case, your second test (not the midterm) will be counted twice. Your final grade will be based on a total of 100 points.10% OF THE QUESTIONS ON ALL EXAMS WILL COME DIRECTLY FROM LECTURES (not based on the textbook

Who is a better wife? Stella From a Street Car Named Desire or Beatrice From the bridge - 2020 - essay

782 words - 4 pages Marriage: A Sacrifice for Love In a traditional marriage, the wife is expected to play an expressive role. Her purpose is to resolve conflicts and to provide affection and moral support for her family. Between Stella Kowalski from Tennessee Williams’ ​A Streetcar Named Desire​ and Beatrice Carbone from Arthur Miller’s ​A View from the Bridge​, Stella is a better wife. Stella is very accepting of her husband, Stanley Kowalski. She stays by

Masculine Gender in Things Fall Apart - District Bronze Science School - Essay

1245 words - 5 pages person to last from the property might have turned into a series of empathy and approval, flaws his dad possessed and Okonkwo declared he'd possess. Okonkwo might just be embarrassed of the dad. From the Umuofia culture, strength, power, and accomplishment would be the steps of the guy. "Luckily, one of these folks a guy was judged in accordance with his own values and perhaps not based to the worthiness of the dad...Age was admired amongst his own

The story of a boy named Alfonso - Classical prep - Essay

5378 words - 22 pages completing this task. Big Ideas and Key Understandings Characters have complicated motivations behind their actions; these motivations and actions are often tied to a character’s sense of identity. Synopsis In “Broken Chain,” Alfonso, a seventh grader, dislikes his appearance. He meets a girl named Sandra, whom he admires, and asks her to go biking with him. Sandra’s bicycle has a flat tire, so he offers to borrow the bicycle of his older brother, Ernie

The story of a boy named Alfonso - Classical prep - Essay

5378 words - 22 pages completing this task. Big Ideas and Key Understandings Characters have complicated motivations behind their actions; these motivations and actions are often tied to a character’s sense of identity. Synopsis In “Broken Chain,” Alfonso, a seventh grader, dislikes his appearance. He meets a girl named Sandra, whom he admires, and asks her to go biking with him. Sandra’s bicycle has a flat tire, so he offers to borrow the bicycle of his older brother, Ernie

Tennessee Williams- A Glass Mangerie - Honors English - Essay

617 words - 3 pages A Path Out Of Hell Is there such thing as destiny in life? In the play The Glass Menagerie written by Tennessee Williams is a play about a mother named Amanda and her two kids Laura and Tom Wingfield. The mother wants her son and daughter to help earn money, since it's only them three after their father left and the only thing they got from him is a postcard from Mexico. Throughout the play the symbol of fire escape is displayed repeatedly, and

In the essay Achievement of Desire, author Richard Rodriguez - English 110 - Paper

1795 words - 8 pages Jacob Kullot Literacy Narrative In the essay Achievement of Desire, author Richard Rodriguez, explains the struggles with the desire to learn. He believed that in order to receive a good education he had to be separated from the culture he lived in and the people he loved. In doing so, Rodriquez lost sight of the big picture and the true meaning behind education. Education is supposed teach you new knowledge and give you a stable, balanced life

Similar Papers

Blanches Speeches In 'a Streetcar Named Desire' Tiffin Girls Essay

568 words - 3 pages What contribution to the audiences understanding of Blanche’s character do the following key speeches make? As the protagonist of Tennessee William’s play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Blanche Dubois embodies Williams himself, as a woman of fragility lost in the emerging world of New Orleans. Williams effectively uses these speeches to allow the audience to understand Blanche as a character of complexity with vulnerability coupled with her

Pitty Presented In A Streetcar Named Desire 12a1 Essay

763 words - 4 pages cannot be sympathised by the audience. Therefore, it can be argued that the play mourns the unimpeded power of the society in a way that disrespect the marginalised women to a degree that even an audience to a play have patriarchal views towards. Williams uses the relationship between Blanche and the truth to merge the dual primitive elements of desire and spirituality. There seems to be no place in the world for sensitive and beautiful souls

The Use Of Symbols In "A Streetcar Named Desire" By Tennessee Williams

1368 words - 6 pages take everyday objects or certain actions and transform them into symbols of significant meaning and importance to the plot and overall effectiveness of a work. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, the use of symbols help the author portraying the messages they're trying to get across and are essential to the outcome of the play. Williams uses light, polka music and poker games as a few of the prominent symbols in

A Streetcar Named Desire/Blue Jasmine Comparison Scotts College Essay

1091 words - 5 pages Tristan Penfold A Streetcar Named Desire and Blue Jasmine Comparison The modern-day American Dream is inextricably shackled to a feverish obsession with wealth, money and power, and through simultaneously comparing Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” and Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” we are able to track an ideological evolution and further probe the illusory and deceptive façade of the American Dream. In Blue Jasmine money rules over