In the 1950s a male and a female did not share equal responsibility or power in a relationship. As seen in A Streetcar Named Desire the male portrays a role of power and success whereas the female is seen almost as an accessory to the male. The male partner would go to work every morning and the female would stay home, cooking, cleaning, and making sure everything was acceptable for her husband’s return that night. When a male and a female were married in the 1950s the male partner became entitled to all of a female’s possessions, however, she was not granted the same power. This relationship has changed drastically in today’s society. It is no longer common to see this large power gap between the male and female figures in a relationship,
Within Tennessee Williams's story about love and abuse within marriage and challenging familial ties, there lie three very different characters that all see the world in vastly different ways. These members of a family that operate completely outside of our generation’s norms, are constantly unsure of themselves and their station within the binary not only of their familial unit, but within the gender binary that is established for them to follow. Throughout the story of the strange family, each character goes through a different arch that changes them irrevocably whether it is able to be perceived or not by those around them. The only male, Stanley is initially the macho force in the home who controls everything without question. He has
Throughout history empowerment and marginalization has primarily been based on gender. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, this idea of empowerment is strongly flaunted. Tennessee Williams’ characters, primarily Stanley, Blanche, Mitch, and Stella, conform the expected roles of men and women at the time. Although World War Two temporarily allowed women a place in the work force, they were dismissed from such empowerment when the war came to a close. Characters in A Streetcar Named Desire are accurate representations of the social historical context of that time. The power struggle between Stanley and Blanche conveys dominant ideas about gender such as the primitive nature, aggression, and
In the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, the representation of male and female characters are based on gender stereotypes, which represent a patriarchal society. The way in which Tennessee Williams portrays the main characters: Blanche, Stanley and Stella, by using gender stereotypes demonstrates the patriarchal society`s value, norms and beliefs of the 1940s.
In Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams explores the internal conflict of illusion versus reality through the characters. Humans often use illusion to save us pain and it allows us to enjoy pleasure instead. However, as illusion clashes with reality, one can forget the difference between the two. When people are caught up in their illusions, eventually they must face reality even if it is harsh. In the play, Blanche suffers from the struggle of what is real and what is fake because of the difficult events of her past. Blanche comes to her sister Stella seeking aid because she has lost her home, her job, and her family. To deal with this terrible part of her life, she uses fantasy to escape her dreadful reality. Blanche’s embracement of a fantasy world can be categorized by her attempts to revive her youth, her relationship struggles, and attempts to escape her past.
While Blanche represents hope of women being able to be free and outspoken, however she also represents the idea that women are very dependent on men for everything. The idea of representing Blanche to be both proper and improper with the society’s rules and regulations is because Williams may have wanted to prove the idea that despite being independent, women will still somehow be dependent on men. Stella represents the submissive nature of women during that time period and is conveyed to be a submissive character, as Williams wanted her to represent what society thinks of women that time. Williams ultimately represents these women in this way in order to infer to the message of shattered dreams, which A Streetcar Named Desire also
In the opening of the play Blanche says, “They told [her] to take a street-car named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at—at Elysian Fields!”(1.1). This sentence sets the theme for the entire play. The streetcar “Desire” brought her to Stella’s home, but symbolically it shows that Blanche’s
The representation of gender roles is among the most prominent recurring subjects in theatre, literature and expressive art as we know it. Gender, and what it means to human beings, is a subject that is as difficult to precisely define as death, race, and the concept of existence. Anne Beall, Ph.D. graduate in Social Psychology at Yale University, details in her book The Psychology of Gender that “Gender is socially defined masculinity and femininity. Social psychology studies how gender is defined, created, and maintained through social influence, especially in the course of social interaction” (Beall; 10). The nature of gender roles is ultimately dictated by temporal, societal, biological and even geographical dimensions that are out of our control and though it is a given that gender as a concept has kept as relevant as it is ancient, there has only been under a hundred years of significant progress or general awareness on the matter. The subject matter of important art in any given time period is a reflection of that society’s most urgent struggles and the topic of gender has remained a constant across human history. The physical and emotional features of characters in art and literature are manifestations of the creator’s perception on subjects such race and gender. The message that a creator seeks to deliver on a topic, determines how they will convey the thoughts,
Gender roles and expectations have a lot of impacts on our society and it needs to be changed in order to create a better civilisation. Although our society has ameliorated tremendously in the past years, there are still some discriminatory actions among genders that are affecting someone 's life negatively. Any remaining differential between genders need to be changed for a better moral standard of living.
Social upheaval in many senses was explicit through the beginning of the twentieth century; two world wars had - for a short time - shifted the balance of power between men and women. Women were increasingly employed to fill positions which had previously been considered masculine. This was not to last however, and by the fifties men had reassumed their more dominant role in society. People were finding new voices at this time by taking pre-existing forms and pushing the boundaries to re-voice established literary forms. Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire around the time this reversal was occurring in American society. Williams was a homosexual from the deep south of America, and his play is about physical, emotional
Gender identification refers directly to the way in which a character manifests particular aspects relative to their sex. Literature pertaining to both pre and post-World War II often categorizes these identities into two separate entities: masculinity and femininity. For the characters of Williams’s play, socially acceptable and appropriate behaviors are classified by gender and are represented by Stella and Stanley, while challenged by Blanche and Mitch. With the depiction of a 1940’s male-controlled culture, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams shows a stark contrast between the traditional depictions of men and women, specifically in a struggle for dominance and the oppression of conforming to appropriate behaviors deemed by their
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, creates a peephole into the lives of a family in the Victorian Era. The play portrays a female viewpoint in a male-dominated society. The values of the society are described using the actions of a woman, Nora, who rebels against the injustices inflicted upon her gender. Women’s equality with men was not recognized by society in the late 1800’s. Rather, a woman was considered a doll, a child, and a servant. Nora’s alienation reveals society’s assumptions and values about gender.
In his play, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen depicts a female protagonist, Nora Helmer, who dares to defy her husband and forsake her "duty" as a wife and mother to seek out her individuality. A Doll's House challenges the patriarchal view held by most people at the time that a woman's place was in the home. Many women could relate to Nora's situation. Like Nora, they felt trapped by their husbands and their fathers; however, they believed that the rules of society prevented them from stepping out of the shadows of men. Through this play, Ibsen stresses the importance of women's individuality. A Doll's House combines realistic characters, fascinating imagery, explicit stage directions, and
Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is a play about a young wife and her husband. Nora and Helmer seem to be madly in love with one another and very happy with their lives together. Yet the conflict comes into this show when Nora brags to her friend Ms. Linde about how she had forged her father’s name to borrow money to save her husband’s life and how she had been secretly paying off this debt. Helmer finds out about this crime and is furious, until he finds that no one will ever know about it. This entire conflict is written to bring to light the ridiculous social expectations demanded of both women and men. Ibsen expertly leads the audience into accepting that these social expectations are foolish and wrong. The audience
Even today the word “feminism” still has a bitter taste to it. Though it basically just means equality between men and women (feminine) still many people refuse to label themselves with it. Some even fail to recognize the problem in the first place since they are not directly affected by it. But for every dollar a man earns a woman still only get between fifty- five and eighty cents (Tyson 85), the phrase “you throw like a girl” is still an insult and while it is fine for a women to dress in men clothes a man in women clothes is often shunned and ridiculed. My personal explanation for this is that our society thinks that it is degrading for a man to be female. It often still seems that our society thinks that women’s sole purpose is to please