Should She Stay, or Should She Go?

     Many women are in relationships that make them or someone else ask the question, should I (she) stay, or should I (she) go? There are many reasons that make the decision difficult.

     Stella, played by Kim Hunter, in the 1951 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, based on the 1947 Tennessee Williams play, was one such woman in a difficult relationship. Stella deeply loved Stanley, played by Marlon Brando. Stanley was a strong, handsome man; but he had his share of faults. When Stella's sister Blanche, portrayed by Vivien Leigh, came to town, which, along with his drinking, seemed to bring out the worst in Stanley.

     Stanley knew from the beginning Blanche was not like the person she claimed to be. However, Stella believed the best in her sister. Once when Stanley was drinking, he snatched up the radio and threw it out the window. He also pushed Stella. She left him; but, as he stood bellowing,"Stelllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaa," she came back to him and basically melted in his arms. It was almost as if she had a co-dependency on Stanley. When most people think of co-dependency, they think of drugs or alcohol. Some women are co-dependent on men. No matter how badly the women are treated, they usually return to the man. The man will come calling and begging the woman to come back, promising to never do it again.

     The final straw came when Stella was in the hospital giving birth to their child. Stanley raped Blanche. Stella left Stanley again, as she did not do in the original play. The movie does not let us know if Stella returns to him or not.

     There are many reasons why women stay. Some are religious; some do not go because of what others will think. Others have a dependency on males and feel that they cannot live without a man. Should Stella have stayed or should she have gone? No one needs to live with the type of fear that goes along with a violent relationship.

Renée Lax

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