Bold Characters

         The personalities of the characters in Elia Kazan's 1951 film, A Streetcar Named Desire, based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, were extremely bold and obvious. Each character's personality was brought out and hard to misinterpret.

         Stanley (Marlon Brando) was the tough straight-up alcoholic husband. He did not care much for flowery talk or designer clothing. He was the boss of the house and had to be in control of everything. It was extremely upsetting to him when Blanche (Vivien Leigh) came in and compromised the land they once owned. This was a situation Stanley had previously been unaware of and needed to gain control over. Blanche's taste for expensive perfume and flowery talk annoyed Stanley immensely.

         Stella (Kim Hunter) was a happy submissive housewife. She enjoyed life but did not need the material items to make her happy. Stella appreciated peace in her house and rarely fought with others. She was the mediator between Stanley and Blanche. Stella defended both Stanley and Blanche, wishing only to look at their positive qualities.

         Blanche was an insecure aging woman. She worked so hard at putting up a façade so that no one could see the real her. Blanche even began to fool herself and could not tell the difference between reality and fantasy. She was insecure at the way she looked and needed to be constantly reminded that she looked pretty.

         The characters are what helped to make the film so successful. Each character was unique and distinct from one another.

Jill Pierce

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