The Undesirable Husband

     In the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, filmed in 1951 by Elia Kazan, Stanley Kowalski played the role of a very undesirable and brutish husband to a woman named Stella. Based on several actions and scenes performed by Stanley in this play/film, I feel that he was nothing more than an overgrown brute.

     First, Stella (Kim Hunter on screen) seemed to a very patient and forgiving woman when it came to Stanley's (Marlon Brando in the film) activities. Pregnant with his child, she felt that she had no other choice than to overlook his faults if she wanted to keep her husband. It also seemed that Stanley was verbally and physically abusive to his wife even in her maternal state. Smacking and ridiculing Stella in front of friends and card-playing buddies appeared to be common event for which Stanley had no remorse.

     Second, Stanley was relatively happy with his place in life. Living in a poor neighborhood in a pitiful home seemed to be an adequate environment for him in this life. He had no ambitions, dreams, or desires of ever gaining anything in this life. Thus, despite Stella's esteemed background, Stanley's adequate feelings rubbed off on Stella to the point where she too lost her ambitions.

     Third, perhaps Stanley's most undesirable trait stemmed from his ability to find Blanche's (Vivien Leigh in the movie) weaknesses and use them against her in the end. After successfully detecting her weak mental state, Stanley spread Blanche's bad reputation around until nobody, including Stella, believed a word that she said. After accomplishing this, Stanley took advantage of the situation by raping her and eventually convinced Stella to send her off to a mental hospital.

     In conclusion, Stanley was a very undesirable husband and human being in general because he lied and manipulated people to get what he wanted. No matter what the consequences, Stanley used his brutish force and ability to knock anyone who objected out of his way.

Krysta Ernstberger

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