Are There Good Relationships?

         If I were to teach a course on relationships, my focus would be on how not to act. The reason I say this is because the relationships we saw this semester were geared toward the migraine side. I do not recall one relationship from any book that was positive.

         In Tennessee Williams' 1947 A Streetcar Named Desire, filmed in 1951 by Elia Kazan, Stanley (Marlon Brando) is horrible to Stella (Kim Hunter). He also is a jerk to Stella's sister, Blanche (Vivien Leigh). He is very abusive in more ways than one. Sometimes I think he lets the alcohol do the talking. Then other times, I think he is just that mean. He is verbally and emotionally abusive throughout the film. He also is physically abusive to Stella while she is pregnant, and he rapes Blanche. In my opinion, Stanley would make a horrible partner, and the way he acts could very well have to do with his alcohol problem.

         In addition to one's safety in a relationship, there must be honesty. In Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House, filmed twice in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland, respectively, Nora and Torvald's relationship lacks honesty. Besides the fact that Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) is naïve, Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) is not that bad to her. He does treat her like a child at times, but that is her own fault. Nora is the one that makes things seem as if she could not live without Torvald. Not only does she make things seem as if Torvald is her backbone, she proved that when she took the loan. She proved that she was not able to care for herself financially. Therefore, I guess this made her take the loan. Most of all, she kept it a secret from Torvald. She is very dishonest in the relationship.

         In a relationship, safety and honesty are two big factors. If either partner does not feel safe, the relationship will never work. If one partner is scared at all times, there always will be a fight waiting to happen. The reasoning for this is that when one is scared, he or she makes decisions that they would not normally make. Therefore, when there is a mishap, there is a fight. Honesty is probably the key to a good relationship. The reason I say that is because honesty leads to so many other qualities that are needed in a good relationship. For example, if there is no honesty, there is no trust; there is only bad communication. If two people can be completely honest with each other, they have laid a foundation for a good relationship.

Miranda Robinson

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