Stanley's Control in A Streetcar Named Desire
Remember what Huey Long said – Every Man is a King! - Explain how
Stanley had his control, how he has had his kingship challenged and
how he is trying to re-establish his control.
“Remember what Huey Long said – “Every Man is a King!”
Explain how Stanley had his control, how he has had his kingship
challenged and how he is trying to re-establish his control.
In the opening of “A Street Car Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams,
we are presented with a stereotypical presentation of a husband and
wife. However, during the duration of the play, we see how Stanley
changes from being in control, to loosing his control and using
desperate measures to regain a higher status.
In Scene 1 the impression the audience gets about Stanley is that he
is in control over his wife. The first time the audience sees him, he
“bellows” at Stella and Stella “mildly” talks back to him, showing
Stanley’s higher status. Stanley also “hurls” a meaty package at
Stella, showing his masculine power that he possesses. Stella, in
contrast, is the one that waits for Stanley. The first time we see
Stella and Stanley together, Stanley has gone to find Stella rather
than the other way round. This gives the audience the impression that
Stella is almost a stay at home wife to Stanley. When Blanche and
Stanley first meet, it is easy to see that Stanley feels as if he has
control. He “starts to remove his shirt” in front of Blanche when he
has first met her, indicating his confidence and his high status
A small indication that Stanley’s “kingship” is being challenged is
show in the start of Scene 2. In Scene 2, Stella takes Blanche out to
a show and supper, while Stanley has his poker night. Stanley notices
that Stella’s attention has been taken off him. Stanley says, “Well
isn’t that just dandy!” when Stella explains how she has put his
dinner. Stanley says this sarcastically as he doesn’t like the fact
that Stella would rather go out with her sister than stay at home,
cooking his dinner like a conventional housewife. Stanley’s threatened
attitude caused by Blanche is developed later in the scene where
Stanley tries to get Stella back on his side. He does this by showing
off his masculine power like he done in Scene 1, as he “jerks” and
“hurls” Blanches possessions to the floor, trying to find evidence to
get Stella back on his side. His actions have an opposite effect,
where Stella then feels that Stanley is being “stupid and horrid”.
This makes Stanley feel as if he has widened the gap between himself
and Stella even further, and that all the blame should be put on
Blanche, as she caused his wife to become rebellious to...