I Wish I Were Raised in the Slums of New Orleans

         Who is better to teach us about family relationships than Stanley Kowalsky and his wife, Stella. They have a loving relationship and are obviously financially secure as they plan to bring a child into their lives. They even have family come for a visit, an obvious sign of a stable home. Well, maybe I picked some of the finer points of their life; maybe we should look a little deeper.

         In 1947, Tennessee Williams created a compelling story of love, lust, and betrayal. Stanley (played by the beautiful Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's 1951 film) seems to have nothing to offer but his looks. As we watch with disgust and hatred as this character develops, we find that his looks are not even enough to get him through this world. His strongest trait, brutality, offers nothing as he shows out, time and again, giving us a great example of the man to never marry.

         Well, maybe we should look at Stanley's wife, Stella (Kim Hunter onscreen). She, opposing (and possibly even balancing) Stanley's qualities, is a sweet and loving woman. She gives and gives and gives some more until she runs herself dry, and yet she still goes back for another beating. This submissive characteristic can only lead us to believe that as a mother, she will eventually turn her child a little crazy. If it takes rape for Stella to leave Stanley in the film version, I wonder if her child would have to murder someone to be punished?

Lauren Miller

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