A Streetcar Named Desire Gender Roles Essay

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As Carly Fiorina stated, “If someone believes they are limited by their gender, they will become more limited.” This was particularly true in 1940s America, where women were expected to be wives and mothers, nothing more. Men on the other hand were the providers and had the responsibility of supporting their household. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams analyzes these strict gender roles of the 1940s. Williams uses the characterization of Blanche and Stella to highlight the forced dependence of women on men by society. Stella Kowalski loves her husband, Stanley Kowalski, enough to forgive his faults. On the other hand, it’s possible that she realizes that she can’t leave him. Stella has no job, unless one counts cooking for Stanley, and relies on her husband for all finical…show more content…
She needs him. For example, at one point in the play, Stanley abuses her and Stella yells, “I want to go away, I want to go away!” (Williams 63). Despite this, Stella goes rushing back to her spouse. She remains with him even after he abuses her, which is later implied to not be unusual. No one enjoys being victimized; therefore she must have a reason for not leaving him. To add to this, she stays with him even after he rapes her sister. After Blanche is raped, its implied that she tells Stella and Stella doesn’t believe her. Stella subsequently says, “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley” (165). She knows that she can’t live with her sister’s rapist, so if her Blanche was being honest she would have to leave her only source of income and only supporter. She chooses ignorance over being homeless, especially now that she has a child. Stella reliance on Stanley is completely supported by the 1940s ideas as well. In an article from 1947, A psychiatrist, Marynia F. Farnham, and a sociologist, Ferdinand Lundberg, state, in reference to working women,

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