a street car named desire




ANIMAL INSTINCTS





\'A Streetcar Named Desire\' is a very socially challenging play in the way in which Tennessee Williams depicts how brutal and deceiving human nature can be. He takes the point of view that no matter how structured or \'civilized\' society is all people will rely on their natural animal instincts, such as dominance and deception, to get themselves out of trouble at some stage in life, even if they don\'t realize it. William\'s has created three main characters of society, they are, Blanche Dubiou, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Each of these characters is equally as civilized as one another, yet their acts of savagery are all on different levels. Throughout the play Williams symbolically relates these three characters to animals, \'savages,\' by the use of their attitudes, beliefs, appearances and desires.

The most obvious example of a savage in the play is Stanley Kowalski. He is a large well-toned, territorial male with simple beliefs and a short temper. He does not have many manners and does not care what people think of him. He seems very simple but there I much more to him. He feels threatened by Blanche because she moves in on his territory and wants Stella to leave him. At first, Stanley acts physically dominant over both Blanche and Stella; by rifling through Blanches possessions (act 1 scene 3 pg.124 ), quoting to Stella and Blanche that “every man is a king” (act scene 8 pg.197-198 ), throwing the radio out the window in a drunken frenzy and actually striking his pregnant wife (Stella) (act 1 scene 3 pg. 152-155). However, towards the end of the play, Stanley realizes his power over Blanche and he acts a lot wiser, but still with the same intentions. He dresses smarter, talks to her nicely, but mockingly, and finally rapes her just to prove his status and to fulfill his “desire” (act 1, scene 10, pg.215). In the powerful scene where Stanley looses total control of his actions and strikes the person who he has sworn to protect, love and to hold. William\'s shows Stanley\'s lack of control and hatred to a new threat in his life, Blanche. What makes this scene so important to the topic is the way that the three characters react once the party has broken up. Blanche is in her usual state of panic; Stella has retreated to up-stairs while Stanley stumbles around calling out \'Steeelllaaa\' in a drunken sweaty animal like manner. Surprisingly Stella answers to her \'mate\'s\' calls and embraces him, they then exchange words of compassion and kiss, Stanley then picks her up and carries her off to his den to make-love, which is Stanley\'s way of saying sorry. Stanley has to be the domineering figure in his relationships we see it not only with Stella and Blanche, but with his friends as well. He is a leader and does not like it when someone tries to complicate his role.


William\'s uses a different type of savagery in Blanche\'s character. Blanche is more deceptive and exaggerated than Stanley is, he tries to hide her age, from others, by constant bathing and dim lighting, and from herself, by drinking and lying. Through out the whole play she is trying to hide here real identity, the actual animal instincts that are inside her. She hides these with perfume, wearing fancy clothes, even by putting a lampshade to hide the actual light. She also attempts to steal Stella away from Stanley by relating him to an animal. This is best represented when Blanche says;
"He acts like an animal, has animals habits!
Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one!
There\'s even something - sub-human - something
Not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes,
something - ape-like about him, like one of those
pictures I\'ve seen in – anthropological studies!
Thousands and thousands of years have passed
him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski –
survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat
home from the kill in the jungle!studies! Thousands
and thousands of years have passed him right by, and
there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the Stone
Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle!”
(act 1 scene 9 pg.