Cinema Creating Mixed Feelings

         A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 film directed by Elia Kazan. It is an adaptation of the 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. After reading the play, I had the opinion that Stella should not go back to Stanley. One reason I thought this is because he was an abusive husband. He hit his pregnant wife in front of his friends and her sister, Blanche. He had no remorse for what he had done. Another reason Stella should not go back to Stanley is that he was a very controlling man. He told her what to do and when to do it. She should be allowed to do what she wanted as long as it was not hurting him. For example, she should be able to listen to music when she wanted to because this did not hurt him. Instead, he threw the radio out the window and repeatedly hit her. Stella also believed her sister, Blanche, when she said that Stanley raped her. This should be enough to make Stella not want to be with him, no matter how many good qualities she saw in him. Stella’s baby did not figure into my reasoning while reading the play because it was just mentioned and not shown as it was in the movie.

         After watching the 1951 film, I had mixed feelings on whether or not Stella (Kim Hunter) should or should not go back to Stanley (Marlon Brando). The film made it real that Stella was a woman dependent on her husband, Stanley. One reason that Stella should stay with Stanley was that she loves him. This became so apparent in the film. No matter how angry Stanley made Stella, she always forgave him and went running lovingly into his arms. Making her decision harder to formulate, was the fact that Stella and Stanley had a baby together. This always complicates the situation. She was not making a decision that only affected her and Stanley but also affected their baby. She also had no other place to go or anyone else to take care of her and her baby. Stanley worked and paid for their apartment, food, and clothes. Her only family, her sister Blanche (Vivien Leigh), had her own problems and no time or financial means to help take care of Stella and her baby.

         The film made me think about the whole picture. I actually started to think of Stella and Stanley’s baby, not just Stella. It actually brought out the love that Stella and Stanley had for each other that the play just could not portray. I enjoyed this movie more than the book.

Nichole Walker