Sexuality In A Streetcar Named Desire

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Sexuality and Physical Empowerment In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams uses sexuality, physical empowerment, and setting to depict the strong presence of gender roles throughout his play. As the play progresses several different relationships begin to develop. For example, the sibling bond between Blanche and Stella, the spousal relationship of Stanley and Stella, and finally the romantic connection between Blanche and Mitch. These ties create many gender specific issues during the play. The gender roles of which the characters portray are very apparent through their actions and dialogue. Blanche uses her sexuality and “upper class” status to empower those around her. However, Stanley uses his physical strength and “alpha male” persona to empower those that surround him such as his friends, wife, and sister-in-law. The development and strength of the female characters in A Streetcar Named Desire is depicted through their use of sexuality to overpower the opposite sex. The character of Blanche uses her sexuality to persuade others. For example, in the beginning of the play Blanche flirts with Stanley almost as if she were trying to gain power over him through her physical appearance and flirtatious words. While Stella is outside, Blanche asks Stanley to help her button her dress in a almost seductive manor. When Stanley questions Blanche about her extravagant furs and jewels, she simply replies “Why, those were a tribute from an admirer of mine!” (1153). This quote demonstrates Blanche’s ability to get what she wants from men through her appearance and lady like personality. As if she were begging Stanley for a compliment, Blanche asks him, “Would you think it possible that I was once considered to be - attractive?” (1153). However, Stanley does not fall for this trick and simply

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