Stella versus Stanley: Abuse and Lust

         In Tennessee Williams' 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, filmed in 1951 by Elia Kazan, Stella (Kim Hunter) should not have returned to her husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando), He was disrespectful, cheated on her, abused her, and the environment would not be healthy for a child to be raised in.

         Throughout the play and movie, Stanley refused to show proper respect towards his wife. He dismissed her when she tried to correct him and ignored her when she asked simple favors of him. The only time they were completely happy with each other occurred when they were about to have sex. Their relationship was more sexually based than love based. He abused her when he felt that she was not being submissive towards him. Stanley had a bad temper and took it out on his wife or whatever else lay in his path. After he hit her, sex would make it all better; but the cycle would begin again the next day.

         Not only was he violent with her, but also he mistreated Stella's sister, Blanche (Vivien Leigh), with verbal and physical abuse. He cheated on Stella by finally raping her sister, Blanche. Therefore, Stella and her unborn child should have fled to a different environment. The current environment was unhealthy to raise a child in. The child would watch all these ugly and violent situations occur and think that such acts were acceptable to society.

         Stella's sexual attraction for her husband took over when she should have been thinking more about her poor sister and her unborn child.

Jill Pierce

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