Stanley Must Die

         In the 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, a woman's life is torn to shreds by a cruel and uncivilized man. Already on the verge of losing her mind, Blanche DuBois comes to live with her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley, in one last effort to find some sort of happiness. Stanley, however, seems intent on preventing this from happening. He soon uncovers the secrets of Blanche's background, exposes them to those she cares about, and pushes her over the edge of sanity when he cruelly rapes her one evening.

         The twentieth-century play did not find it necessary to punish Stanley in any way for his actions. Stanley and Stella simply rid themselves of Blanche by committing her to a mental institution and then continuing on with their pathetic lives. Stella does seem remorseful of her actions but never does anything throughout the entire play to prevent it from happening. She instead chooses to allow her husband to act like a total bastard in return for her sister's sanity.

         In the 1951 cinematic adaptation, directed by Elia Kazan, Stanley is in someway punished. The censorship laws of the day found it to be a necessity that Stanley (Marlon Brando) be punished in some way. They decided that Stella (Kim Hunter) leaving Stanley and running away to find sanctuary in the apartment upstairs was sufficient enough. Blanche (Vivien Leigh,) ironically enough, still, through Stanley's thoughtlessness, loses her sanity and her dream of happiness.

         I find it very surprising that Stanley was punished in this way. I would have thought that he would have at least been arrested. If I had been the director of this movie, I would have had Mitch go off the deep end and beat Stanley to death. However, I am sure that the movie ended the way it did for a reason, but I still found myself at the end of the movie to be very angry at the male gender and very unfulfilled with the way his crime was handled.

Lynnsey McGarrh

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