A Streetcar Named Desire

In “A streetcar named Desire” author, Tennessee Williams is able to reveal changes of the dynamic character, Stella, through the concentration and development of Blanche, the protagonist of the play. With the dialogue, we are able to see that Blache has caused Stella to slowly transpose. These changes can be seen with the gradual shift in her (Stella’s) relationship with Stanley.

Although Stella loves her sister dearly, it can be seen that her personality and character has changed due to Blanche’s presence. From the moment that Stanley met Blanche, there was a sense of tension between the two. He constantly criticizes and questions her about her clothes and superior ways. “ Stanley: What does it cost for a string of fur-pieces like that?” (Scene 2, p. 38) In defense of her sister, Stella has to repeatedly shield her sister from any comments that may offend her. “Stella: It’s pure invention! There’s not a word of truth in it and if I were a man and this creature had dared to invent such things in my presence-” (Scene 7, p. 100) Stella has fought the battle of defending her sister, and continues to find herself trapped between two people she loves dearly.

Stanley’s lack of cooperation with his wife in having to accept her sister, causes there to be a change in their relationship as a married couple. Stanley is use to being the “man” of the house, and doesn’t like the fact that he lacks control in their marriage with Blanche in town. “Stanley: QUIET IN THERE! – We’ve got a noisy woman on the place.” (Scene 8, p. 110). This lack of control, has brought Stanley to further investigate Blanche’s reasons for being in town. He comes to find she has many lies, and doesn’t hold back during the slashing of her reputation as he tells Stella. “Stanley: Things I have suspected, but now I have proof from the most reliable sources- which I have checked on!” By ruining Blanche’s imagine in the eyes of Stella, it has changed their relationship because Stella has slowly seen how intolerant of a person her husband is.

Due to this change in their relationship, we can see that Stanley is not happy with the outcome. He becomes violent as a reaction to his frustration of Blanche’s presence and beats Stella throughout the play. “Blanche: Stella, watch out, he’s [Stanley charges after Stella.]” (Scene 3, p. 57) Along with this violence, he has resorted to heavily drinking, “ Stanley: It’s not my soul, it’s my kidney’s I’m worried about!” (Scene 7, p. 102). Because of this change in his character, there comes a lack of communication amongst each other, therefore separating themselves all the much more. This separation and time spent with Blanche, changes Stella.

Stella is a strong woman whose best interest is preserving the family she dearly loves. Williams discloses this love through her (Stella’s) need to please and challenge of a “mans” authority. Hence, we can come to understanding that in all her efforts to please, Stella has changed her original personality through the course of the play.