A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams

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The role of women in modern society is a contentious topic. Presently, the female gender has become more respected and important in the workplace, with as much women as men achieving successful, admirable lives. But this was not always the case. During the early 20th century, women were severely oppressed, with their identity confined to the likes of a housewife. In wartime, the role of the female gender expanded slightly, with more women being employed into jobs that were previously considered masculine while the men were at war. However, after the war was over and then men returned home, many of these women fell pregnant and resumed the life of the subservient housewife, whilst the men once again dominated. Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire is a dramatic play written during this time that follows the journey of a distressed young woman- Blanche visiting her sister Stella in New Orleans, who is subsequently tormented by her brutish new brother-in-law Stanley. The play presents the reader with physical, emotional and sexual conflict, and harshly critiques the attitudes and ideologies present in 1950’s American society in relation to the heavy restrictions that were placed on the lives of its women. Through substantial characterization, symbolism and language, Williams creates a representation of 1950’s American society, where the women are oppressed and the men dominate.

Stanley Kowalski is the central male character of the play. He is a violent and animalistic
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