Earth to Stella

         In A Streetcar Named Desire, directed in 1951 by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, we see an old-fashioned woman in Stella, played by Kim Hunter. Stella is a housewife living in a small apartment with her husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando), in New Orleans. Stella is settled down with her situation and under normal circumstances would not change it. Then out of the blue, her sister, Blanche (Vivien Leigh) shows up.

         Stella is what a sister is supposed to be to a sibling, welcoming, warm, caring, and loving. Stella is excited to spend time with her sister, but one can see from the beginning that these two women have a lot of differences. Blanche represents higher class with her nice clothes and jewelry; her talk and the way she presents herself are striking from the beginning. Stella would not even think twice about her sister being a fake. She is too nice in this movie; even after Stanley abuses her, she takes him back because she is too forgiving. She plays the "middle man" in this storyline because Blanche comes to her for comfort, while Stanley comes to her with reasons to get rid of Blanche. Stella is put into some very hard situations; but, after seeing her sister go crazy in the movie after she had been raped by Stanley, she decides to leave Stanley with the baby, when in the play she does not.

         In conclusion, Stella had to come to some realization in her life about Stanley and her sister, or a boiling point. She had to look at what was important for herself first, and even look past her sister. One would hope that she leaves Stanley, who will continue to go back to his old drunken abusive ways if he had reason to. She needs to look out for what is most important, and that is her newborn baby.

Eric Belmonte

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