The Brute Essay

This essay has a total of 632 words and 4 pages.

The Brute



In Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”(Williams 2008-2075; additional references by page
number only.) the characters are extremely physical. The most physical of all characters
in the play was Stanley Kowalski. Stanley is considered to be a brutal, domineering man
with animal-like traits.

The best relationship to illustrate Stanley’s brutality is the one between he and his
wife, Stella. Stanley treats Stella badly. He beats Stella and is impolite to her in
front of other people. He rarely takes her suggestions and often scolds her. Stanley
only acts kindly to Stella when he wants to make love with her. There is evidence in
scene three of Stanley’s brutality.

[At the poker game.]
STELLA: How much longer is this game going to continue?
STANLEY: Till we get ready to quit.
…Why don’t you women go up and sit with Eunice?
STELLA: Because it is nearly two-thirty A.M.…
[A chair scrapes. STANLEY gives a loud whack of his hand on her thigh.]
STELLA: [Sharply.] That’s not fun, Stanley. (to Blanche) It makes me so mad when he does
that in front of people. (2026-27)


…Shortly after this incident during the same scene…

[BLANCHE turns the radio on. STANLEY stalks fiercely through the portieres into the
bedroom. He crosses to the small white radio and snatches it off the table. With a
shouted oath, he tosses the instrument out the window.]

STELLA: Drunk, drunk animal thing, you!…
BLANCHE: [Wildly.] Stella, watch out, he’s…
[STANLEY charges after STELLA.]
MEN: [Feebly] Take it easy, Stanley. Easy fellow…
STELLA: You lay your hands on me and I’ll…
[She backs out of sight. He advances and disappears. There is the sound of a blow,
STELLA cries out. BLANCHE screams and runs into the kitchen. The men rush forward and
there is grappling and cursing. Something is overturned with a crash.]

BLANCHE: [Shrilly.] My sister is going to have a baby! (2031)
These are just two examples of Stanley’s brutality towards Stella. Near the end of the
play, the reader discovers that Stanley has raped Blanche. This is probably considered to
be his most brutal act during the play.

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