Misogny in a Street Car Named Desire Essay

1298 Words Apr 6th, 2013 6 Pages
Women and Misogyny and Fatalism in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams wrote this critically acclaimed play during the 20th century when women and their place in society were greatly challenged. According to Boydston (2004) men were breadwinners and women resided in the home where they would raise children and maintain the home. As protector of the home, women exhibited characteristics such as piety, purity and domesticity. The notion of women entering the workforce, she continued, threatened the ideals of true womanhood and masculinity. In other words the woman’s foray into the man’s sphere violated the separation of roles between men and women because the ‘public sphere’ was reserved for men. It is this
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Stanley uses sex and his brute strength to subdue the women who fall into his circle. After physically abusing his wife he uses sex to substantiate his insincere apology. He also uses sex to comfort Stella after Blanche leaves and ultimately rapes Blanche in order to regain his sense of manliness and bring her down from the ‘columns’ she had built her life on which seemed superior to him.
In scene one, Stanley forces a packet of met upon his wife; this symbolizes his male dominance in an increasingly patriarchal society. He acquires a feeling of superiority from this standpoint. Williams depicts Stanley receiving his wife's fondness with "lordly composure"; this insinuates that Stanley believes that he deserves his wife's respect and devotion without having to work for it in any way because he is a man; he believes that she should have these feelings towards him as a matter of automation. The statement: "Be comfortable is my motto," is extremely true for Stanley as he does what he wishes and disregards the consequences. Through dialogue such as this, Williams asserts that Stanley inherently fails to take into account the repercussions his own requirements and desires have on others. He is in total control and the only person endowed with power; therefore the only person he takes into consideration - and the only person his wife is allowed to take into concern - is himself.

The fatalistic view of women is evident in William’s characterization of

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