Essay On Stella In "Streetcar Named Desire", By Tenessee Williams: Description Of How She Is Torn Between Blanche And Stanley.

955 words - 4 pages

Stella Kowalski is Stanley Kowaslki's wife and Blanche Dubois' older sister. She grew up at Belle Reve with Blanche and moved to Elysian Fields in New Orleans when she married. Even though she is not the protagonist, Stella has an important role in the play.Stella comes from a wealthy background but abandoned her past when she married Stanley and became part of the working class of New Orleans. We don't know much about her physical appearance, but we are told in scene one that she is about twenty-five and is gentle. Evidence in the book suggests that she was once very similar to Blanche, but chose to leave that world in order to escape the fate of her ancestors, who have all had "epic fornications". She abandoned her family leaving Blanche to deal with all the deaths of the family.Blanche symbolizes a wealthy woman trapped in a world of illusion and Stanley is on the other end of the spectrum, being a working class animal-like man who craves to discover every truth. Stella seems to be in the middle of that spectrum and therefore acts as a mediator between the two. She has Blanche's refinement and Stanley's understanding of the real world. Stella lied to Blanche about the size and comfort of her home and therefore did not want her to know about her new social situation. With Blanche's presence, Stella acts differently and tries to show her sister she has remained refined and cultured. Stella is easily influenced and very quiet. Blanche tries to be a mother figure toward Stella from the very beginning of the play. In scene one Blanche says : "I said stand up! You messy child, you, you've split something on that pretty white lace collar!" and then goes on criticizing her hair and noticing a weight gain. Blanche acts as if she was Stella's overcritical mother, perhaps because she is the older sibling and feels in charge since Stella left Belle Reve. Stella accepts all this criticism she receives as if she were used to it or expecting it and judges it best not to respond.Stella plays a very submissive role in the play. She is submissive towards Stanley who needs to be in control of his territory and she is submissive towards Blanche who tries to act as a mother. Stanley dominates Stella like most men at the time would dominate their wives. We see this through Eunice, who is beaten by Steve. He makes it clear to her that he is in charge, like when Stella asks him to leave the room while Blanche is changing he says : "Since when do you give me orders?". Stella accepts this domination because of the way she is sexually attracted to Stanley. Stanley also dominates her in a physical way, by beating her in scene three. This is Stanley's raw and...

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