In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams uses his brilliant writing to bring life to his characters in the story. I will be composing a character sketch on Stanley, one of the main actors in the play. I will focus on evaluating Stanley s ever-changing character traits in the role he plays. They consist of different moods that he demonstrates during the play: his aggressiveness, his love for Stella, and also his rudeness and cruelty towards Blanche. Let’s begin by talking about the way Stanley s aggressiveness affects the climax of the play. During the scene when the boys were playing poker, Blanche and Stella come into the kitchen and, as a result, disrupt the games. This got Stanley very angry and violent. For this reason, he got up and began attacking Stella.
Men: Take it easy, Stanley, easy fellow,–Let s all–. Stella: You lay your hands on me and Ill (57) This just proves what I was saying about one of Stanley s moods. His violence and the fact that he loses control of his actions is one characteristic that I didn’t particularly like at all about Stanley. Here s another scene that really shows how mean Stanley really is. This scene depicts when Stanley gets into a fight with Blanche. The scene concludes on a sour note when Blanche breaks a bottle top on the table and try s to hurt Stanley. Stanley says: Oh! So you want some rough-house! All right, let s have some rough-house! (130) Stanley grabbed Blanche s hand which made her drop the bottle top. She fell to her knees and he / took advantage of her helplessness, took her to the bed, and raped her. However, this is not the only dark side of Stanley.
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On the lighter side, let s think about another character trait of Stanley’s scary side. I know it might not appear as such, but Stanley does love Stella a lot, in his own way. To prove it, here is another passage from the play: My baby doll s left me! (59) This little part shows that he cares for her, but there is another scene that will prove that all he want s is the best for Stella and himself. This quote is from scene two when Stanley has a bad feeling about Blanche and her trunk. He opens it and finds a lot of things that a poor girl shouldn’t have, so he s probably thinking that Blanche is just using Stella for the money and that Blanche is not sharing the money with her sister. That causes Stanley to get involved: There is such a thing in this state of Louisiana as the Napoleonic code, according to which whatever belongs to my wife is also mine and vice-versa. (41)
Now, you might think that Stanley was just worried about the money and nothing else but he doesn’t like it when people mess with his family as it says in this quote: It looks like you have been swindled, baby, and when you re swindled under the Napoleonic code I m swindled too. And I don t like to be swindled. (35) I think that Stanley s sense of loyalty towards his family is a good side of him and perhaps the only positive trait that he possesses. Next, let s wonder about Stanley s relationship with Blanche. Of course, as you can conclude, they are probably the worst matches when it comes to couples. Every time they are together, he is rude and makes her feel uncomfortable. His only wish is for her to get out of the house. This scene is proof that my assumptions are real. In this scene, it s Blanches birthday and Stanley has gotten a gift for Blanche but it’s not really a gift that Stella would like: Blanche: What is it/ Is it for me? Stanley: Yes, I hope you like it! Stella: Why, why it s a Stanley: Ticket! Back to Laurel! On the Greyhound! Tuesday! (111)
This is not the only thing that he did! He has insulted her so many times s it’s hard to keep track of all his insults. Here s a couple of parts from the play: Hey, canary bird! Toots! Get OUT of the BATHROOM! (105) And look at yourself! Take a look in that worn-out Mardi Gras outfit, rented for fifty cents from some rag-picker! And with that crazy crown on! What queen do you think you are? (127). Does this look like a person that likes her? I don t think so. I find that this is probably one of his worse characteristics in the play. Finally, Tennessee Williams has created a brilliant play featuring a strong and complex character that will get you confused on how to feel about him. Good or Bad? Like him or hate him? A question that always has to be reevaluated throughout the play. I find that during the beginning of the play you would take side with Stanley instead of Blanche but after a while, you get to understand that Stanley is the villain and that Blanche is the victim in all of this.