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To a contemporary audience, there is no doubt that Stanley is presented as the villain of the play due to his violence towards Stella and Blanche. However, when put in the context of 1940’s New Orleans, where casual domestic abuse was common, and archetypal gender roles expected, Stanley’s violent behaviour becomes not the fault of a villain, but of a villainous culture whereby every character is flawed, and a man felt it necessary to fiercely defend himself in several aspects.Despite his violent behaviour, Williams clearly steers Stanley away from the role of a villain, through the passionate and committed relationship he holds with Stella. Williams presents Stanley’s Neanderthal-like attributes displayed throughout as a symbol of masculinity- “he tosses her the meat package” to normalize. The couple are clearly settled a functional yet passionate relationship until the appearance of Blanche “when he goes away for a week… I go wild [Stella]”. Stella’s obvious dependence on Stanley in their life together after Stella’s escape from Belle Reve presents him as having more heroic characteristics, having saved her from all that Blanche had to endure “deaths are expensive, miss Stella!” having to struggle with financial independence.

Moreover, this breadwinning role adds to the archetypal family unit that increased in popularity during the 1940s, and shows that Stanley had similar goals to any American man, making him relatable to an audience of the time, and therefore directing him clearly away from any villainous role. Arguably, it is Blanche’s appearance which disrupts the peace in their relationship, which Williams uses to inflame Stanley’s violence. However, the fact that Stanley and Stella remain together after Blanche’s implies their closeness, and unbreakable bond. Moreover, Williams presents Stanley is as a character essential for Stella’s happiness- Blanche’s flirtation, deserving of rape? Several of the characters have flawsDespite his value as an individual, Williams presents Stanley not as a villain, but a representative of the class and society which shaped him, a product of flawed cultures clashing together, “the Kowalski’s and the Dubois have different notions”. Stanley’s brash sense of entitlement, for example when speaking about the Napoleonic code “there’s this policy…” only emphasizes the ascendance of the working class male, with new- found social mobility. Whilst this entitled viewpoint of Stanley blends seamlessly into the New Orleans lifestyle, being a place of “desire” it conflicts with Blanche’s character- a representation of the death of the Old South. Williams here displays the incompatibility of the two cultures, and the struggle of the changing fabric of society, still finding its feet.

One could argue that this lead to Stanley’s sense of entitlement to women, resulting in his rape of Blanche “you’ve had it coming from the beginning…” It could also be argued that the rape was a way of defending what Stanley viewed as his property “sizes women up quote” due to Blanche’s blatant racism in labelling him a “Polack” and “animal”. Not only are the insults a symbol of the contrasting cultures, but of the way in which Stanley is made to feel degraded in society “I’m not a Polack, I’m an American”. Therefore his villainous behaviour to Blanche can be seen as a direct retaliation to her racism, and a way to defend territory. Placing such weight upon the culture in which Stanley is a product of makes him being a villainous individual unlikely. T huey long and polack, self defence

American Modernism: Coming of Age

American Modernism: Coming of Age.

The presentation must have at least 5 slides power point with pictures with relevant, accurate information (not including the Title slide and a Bibliography slide). 4 references

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