Mrs. Kowalski

     Tennessee Williams wrote an exceptional play in 1947 entitled A Streetcar Named Desire. Elia Kaza brought this story to life on the big screen in 1951. In this story the marriage of Stanley and Stella Kowalski is told. This couple has a volatile relationship and one that also seems to thrive on sex. "Desire" is a fitting name for the streetcar that serves their neighborhood.

     In a scene during this play and movie, the pregnant Stella (Kim Hunter on screen) appears to be aroused after Stanley (Marlon Brando in the film) hits her because she turns that radio on. She leaves the apartment after the beating and then seductively glides down the stairs as Stanley bellows his apology up to her. Stanley is on his knees when she reaches him; they embrace; then Stella bends over him and claws at his back.

     This scene in both versions is similar to one that ends this movie, but not the original play. Once again Stella runs upstairs to get away from Stanley, who follows her outside. The movie closes with him standing at the bottom of the stairs, hollering for her to come down to him. This then leaves the audience to draw their own conclusion.

     Does Stella come back? I think that she does. It is obvious during the course of this play that the Kowalskis have a passionate yet violent marriage. They have a marriage that seems to thrive on the theatrics of their fighting. Another reason why I believe that she will go back to Stanley is their child. Stella is a new mother with a newborn baby. She will go back to Stanley because of financial reasons. She does not have a job or any family to rely on. The audience knows all of this because that is the reason why her sister, Blanche (Vivien Leigh) has come to stay with her. Their family estate, Belle Reve, has been lost to the bank, and all of their family is deceased. Stella, therefore, has no one to turn to for help. Because of that and her desire for Stanley, she will go back to him.

Krista Germann

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