The Relationship Between Gender And Power In A Streetcar Named Desire

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The relationship between gender and power in A Street Car Named Desire

In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, author Tennessee Williams creates a strong relationship between gender and power, and asserts that when both are unchecked and combined a force is created which leads people to have no remorse while pursuing their desires. When the four main characters of the play interact we see how this force is detrimental to the weaker characters. Being both immensely masculine and powerful causes Stanley to torment the other main characters while chasing what he wants. While Blanche possesses a domineering personality she is not masculine meaning society does not grant her the same level of power Stanley possesses, allowing him to triumph over her. Mitch is masculine but does not boast enough confidence to be powerful, and is therefore bullied and manipulated by Stanley. As Stella is neither masculine nor confident and powerful, she falls victim to repeated physical and emotional abuse by Stanley. With his overly masculine and domineering personality, Stanley is a prime example of a top ranking alpha male. If his authority is challenged, he responds violently to reinforce his position as the superior being. Williams depicts Stanley as an extremely macho man who enjoys ‘heartiness with men, his drink and food and games, his car, his radio, everything that is his, that bears his emblem of the gaudy seed bearer’(Sc. 1, P. 16) and is the commander of his household. Additionally,
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