A Better End

         The film-literature combination with the best ending change from the play version to the film version is A Streetcar Named Desire, written in 1947 by Tennessee Williams and directed in 1951 by Elia Kazan. In the play, Stella stays with Stanley when her sister leaves, but in the film, Stella (Kim Hunter) leaves. This is a triumph on her side, and it gives the story a happy ending.

         The film ending is better for a number of reasons. The most important one is that you should trust your spouse. Stella has reason to trust Stanley (Marlon Brando). The main point is that Blanche (Vivien Leigh), Stella's sister, told Stella that Stanley raped her. Stella may be unsure if she should believe her sister. Stella said, "I couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley." Stella was unsure if she should believe her insane sister. Stella did not believe it in the play, and she took her friend Eunice's advice: "Don't ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you''ve got to keep on going."

         Even if Stella could not believe Blanche, she had to believe that Stanley's aggressive behavior was not going to stop now that a baby was in the house. The crying would probably only aggravate him further. He was even still having a loud poker game in the house with the baby there. The baby would have only made Stanley worse.

         The poker game proves another important point about Stanley: he is incredibly insensitive. Blanche is being taken away to a mental institute, and Stanley is having a poker game. He also has Mitch (Karl Malden) over there, whom Blanche was almost going to marry. Blanche had to be escorted through that room with all of those people. This shows that Stanley had absolutely no lowest point. He will stoop to any level to show that he is in charge.

         Another reason why Stella leaving Stanley is better is that he is violent. He has a horrible temper and breaks radios, dishes, glasses, windows, and more. Since he is such an aggressive person, there is no reason for Stella to think Stanley did not rape Blanche. She must have believed it, even in the play, but she still stayed with him.

         The better ending for A Streetcar Named Desire is the film version. Stella needed to leave Stanley. She knew that he must have raped Blanche. In the play, she probably had that on the back of her mind for the rest of her life, but in the film she showed her spirit and her will to survive by running upstairs and, I hope, never returning to Stanley.

Adrienne Dumke

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