A Streetcar Named Desire Poker Essay

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Poker is a game of risk, deceit and luck involving betting. Poker plays an integral role in Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire in which William’s depicts the continual shift in power between men and women that American society was encountering during this time. Williams highlights this gender struggle in the play through the character dynamics of Blanche, Stella, Stanley and the group of poker players. Williams represents the continual fight for supremacy in the home between men and women and, parallel to this, the larger struggle in the country between the Old South and the New South. Williams uses the game of poker, the named poker hands played by Stanley and his peers and the color schemes of what they’re wearing to demonstrate…show more content…
Williams addresses Stanley’s power in his social group and in his relationship with Stella and Blanche through Stanley’s execution of authority in the game of poker. Being in charge of the poker game, Stanley uses this power to assert his position as the dominant male in both these roles. Williams uses stage directions to set the scene of the poker night as a testosterone filled environment and to assert the notion that the stereotypical gentle nature of women doesn’t mix with the unavoidable aggression of the poker game. The poker players are described as “men at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colors” (Williams 45) that they’re wearing while they play. The men engaged in the poker game are clearly intoxicated, loud boisterous and vulgar. Stanley asserts, “Get y’r ass off the table Mitch. Nothing belongs on a poker table but cards, chips and whiskey” (Williams 46). Mitch responds to his demand, “Kind of on your high horse, ain’t you?” (Williams 45). Stanley's beliefs concerning the nature of poker playing are paramount, in a sense that whatever he says goes, allowing no room for further discussion

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