What an Animal!

         When I think of Stanley Kowalski, I think about what must have been going on in his mind to make him yell and scream and even strike his wife. How can people get so mad that they would go to such extremes as to actually hit their significant other? Well, in the 1951 movie A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and based on the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, we see an example of how something or someone could drive a man to these extremes.

         I do not know how the relationship was between Stanley (Marlon Brando) and his wife, Stella (Kim Hunter), before Miss Blanche (Vivien Leigh) came along with her charming, soft-spoken ways. I would imagine it was pretty normal, given the discussion during the movie between Stanley and Stella where Stanley talks about how things were before Blanche showed up and how happy they were back then. I truly believe that they were for the most part happy. Sure Stanley probably has a control problem and an anger management issue, but who is perfect? What man does not have some control problems?

         Now, I am not condoning the fact that he put his hands on Stella or that he went as far as raped Blanche, but I probably would have done my share of screaming and hollering at Blanche. I would not, however, strike my wife or throw things around the house like an animal. Oh, now there is that word, "animal." Some people would say, "Stanley Kowalski is an animal. Just look at the way he treated everyone around him." I am not so sure he is or is not, but the fact that he had his moments during the movie where he was calm and rational with Stella makes me begin to think that he was just losing his mind on account of Blanche DuBois and her "wonderful" ways.

         In summation, I firmly believe, after reading the play A Streetcar Named Desire and watching the movie, that Stanley Kowalski is not an animal but just a confused man who does not want his happy home wrecked by his sister-in-law, who was bipolar and crazy. Who among us would have handled the situation in a completely different manner? I am not sure that I would have.

Ryan Peabody

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