Street Car Named Desire

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, Stanley represents the realistic approach to life and Blanche represents the idealist approach. This unfolds a great conflict between Blanche and Stanley. Stanley becomes obsessed with bringing Blanche down because he won't let Blanche get the best of him, not in his house! While Stanley is quick to bring Blanche down, Blanche occupies her time trying to get attention and sympathy. A true conflict can only be effective if both opponents have a weapon. Blache's weapon is the sympathy and helplessness that she gives off and Stanley, his realistic and detective like approach to Blanche. Williams is able to present this conflict throughout the play in several different ways.

Stanley is a strong character and is often portrayed as dominant and insensitive, while Blanche is portrayed as being weak and passive. When Stanley and Blanche first meet the conflict starts when Stanley, who's realism can't allow him to change for anyone, starts to remove his shirt.

He doesn't care that Blanche, who he's never met before is right there and his wife is in another room. He says "My clothes're stickin to me. Do you mind if I make myself comfortable?...[Stanley] Be comfortable, that's my motto" (Williams 2018). Stanley has simple thoughts and simple answers. He was hot, so he took his shirt off. This scene also showed symbolically that Stanley had nothing to hide. What you see in Stanley is what you get. Blanche, on the other hand, will go to great lengths to gain approval and admiration while hiding behind this facade of glamour. Stanley represents the realistic approach, all the hardships of losing family, to life because he approaches life in a simple way. He's not ashamed of the house he has or life he...