Human sexuality in 'A Streetcar Naled Desire'

1966 Words8 Pages
What do you believe Tennessee Williams is saying about human sexuality in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’? ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is a play in which the themes of both male and female sexuality are explored, and their destructive and vitalizing forces are analysed. The play, which caused shockwaves in the literary world when it hit the theatres in 1947 was subject to much controversy and was one of the first to portray the basic elements that drive humanity as a whole: death, violence and sex. The distinction between these factors is fine, and the nature of their intertwinement is examined by Tennessee Williams. Throughout the course of the play, the playwright seems to define sexuality in terms of winners and losers; Stanley a ‘winner’, is a powerful man who is assertive in his sexuality, and who eventually triumphs over Blanche both morally and sexually, whereas Allan, Blanche’s late husband is a ‘loser’. He was a homosexual or at the very least a bisexual, and upon Blanche having made a derisory remark about his sexuality after having caught him with another man, he shoots himself. Perhaps the most important element of human sexuality that is explored in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is the harmful effect it can have on one’s social standing and consecutively, one’s psyche. Blanche is the vessel through which the audience truly comes to understand the baneful features of human sexuality and how an over identification with the importance of one’s sexuality leads to strife and death. As mentioned earlier, Williams sorts raw human sexuality into two categories, the winners and the losers. The winners are those who assert their sexuality, live their life according to their bestial needs and suffer no major consequences. The sexual losers on the other hand, are those who start with the same basic carnal desires of the winners, but as result of a cruel hand dealt to
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