Three’s a Crowd?

         There is a belief that, when three people are together, one person will come between the other two. Is this belief true or is it just a myth? There may be something in Tennessee Williams' 1947 A Streetcar Named Desire that supports both sides of the argument.

         Stanley and Stella believe they have been happy and everything was fine until Blanche shows up. The 1951 film version, directed by Elia Kazan, gives a better image of a happy marriage, starting the story with Stanley (played by Marlon Brando) and Stella both at the bowling alley, while Blanche is arriving at their home. The 1947 play starts by Stanley bringing the meat home for Stella to take care of. He leaves quickly headed to the bowling alley, as she begs to go along. This relationship does not seem so loving. When the third person, Blanche (Vivien Leigh), shows up, the trouble seems to start. Blanche is appalled by Stanley's behavior and believes that his temper is something Stella should not have to put up with.

         If people are secure in their relationship, a third party should not be able to cause that much of a problem. I have had this problem with a friend of mine, but fortunately my relationship with my boyfriend has been strong enough to survive that test. It turned out my friend's jealousy was not the only problem that I had with her. There were other issues with her, and I have not seemed to have had this problem with my other friends. This leads me to believe that the nature of the relationship also has something to do with the type of third person that is involved. There are obvious issues in Stanley and Stella's marriage, such as his temper and his way of controlling things. It is only a matter of time before Stanley would do something to cause Stella to leave. His temper and the abuse (slapping her) could have been building up inside her. When he decides to take her sister, away that may have been the last straw for her.

         Should there really be a problem within three people? I think it depends on a lot of things. For one it depends on the people involved and how they handle pressure or solve problems. For the most part I believe if a relationship is strong enough, it should be able to stand that test. Maybe Stella will come back to Stanley and stay with him, as she does in the play; and, now that Blanche is gone, they will live happily ever after. Or maybe Stanley and Stella's marriage was not as secure as they had thought.

Jessica Chandler

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