A Streetcar Named Desire: A Bad Marital Relationship

         A Streetcar Named Desire is perhaps one of the best films I have watched in English 213. I really enjoyed this 1951 film directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play. Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando) is the stubborn husband of Stella Kowalski (Kim Hunter). Stella is a sweet woman who has been raised much differently from her husband. Stella was given much of what she wanted as she grew up, and was provided with everything she needed.

         Stanley, who is loud, violent, and controlling, takes out much of his anger on his wife, Stella. Stella and Stanley ultimately love one another but have an unfair relationship. Stanley has a temper with Stella and fights with her often. He can be a very cold-hearted man, and in his mindsets rules for Stella. These rules hurt their relationship because he gets so angry when he feels she disobeys.

         Stanley’s worst characteristic comes out when he rapes Stella’s sister, Blanche (Vivien Leigh). Stanley denied his actions, and seems as if he has no regrets. This scene in the film angered me and made me feel hatred for Stanley. After the rape, Blanche becomes mentally unstable because of the way Stanley has treated her. This should make Stanley feel shame, but he does not. Stanley’s true colors came out more in this scene than perhaps any other.

         The couple in A Streetcar Named Desire is your typical “bad relationship.” Stanley is short-tempered and believes in the saying “every man for himself.” He is ill-mannered and perhaps much of the reasoning behind the couple’s fighting is that she was raised to have the things she wants, and he was raised stubbornly and hard-headed. I did not like Stanley throughout the film, and in the end I hated him.

         In conclusion, Stanley and Stella have a weak and sad relationship. They are both interesting characters and show a typical “bad relationship” that seems to continue only because of love. The ending brought me to the same question: “Are people who they are because that is how they were raised?” A Streetcar Named Desire shows Stanley’s true colors. He is a cold-hearted man who was raised much differently from Stella. This film was very interesting and brings out emotions in the viewers, making it a very memorable film.

Ashley Henderson

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