The Play "A Streetcar Named Desire", written by Tennessee Williams, is about a woman named Blanche Duboise whose last hope of finding security becomes shattered by her malicious brother-in-law Stanley Kowalsky. This fictional play takes place in the late forties or early fifties in New Orleans, Louisiana. Blanche Duboise moves in with her sister Stella Kowalsky, and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalsky because she lost her family estate and had no where else to go. Stanley starts to dislike Blanche because she is condescending and critical of him and his home. Throughout the book, Stanley and Blanche gradually become enemies. Although they hate each other, they have one specific thing in common, and that is a problem with alcohol.
Their drinking leads to different things. When Blanche drinks, she lives in a world of fantasy. Stanley on the other hand stays in reality, but is more emotionally frustrated. Lastly, Blanche is self-destructive to herself, caused by Stanley, and Stanley destroys those around him. Blanche and Stanley's drinking problem is very serious.
Blanches drinking was spurred by her husbands death. Blanche feels that it was her fault that he committed suicide, because she kept making him feel bad about his new-found homosexuality. "These are love-letters, yellowing with antiquity, all from one boy... Poems a dead boy wrote. I hurt him the way that you would like to hurt me, but you can't! I'm not young and vulnerable any more.
But my young husband was... ". (Blanche to Stanley, Scene 2 pg. 42). On tope of that, Blanche had financial trouble with her estate and ended up losing it.
"The four-letter word deprived us of our plantation, till finally all that was left... was the house itself... ". (Blanche to Stanley, Scene 2 pg. 43.) Stanley has a drinking problem, but his chauvinistic male hormones wont let him admit to it. Stanley spends time playing poker with other males, boosting his chauvinistic ways. "Blanche, this is Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Hubble". Blanche: "Please don't get up".
Stanley: "Nobody's going to get up, so don't be worried". (Stanley introducing his 'poker buddies' to Blanche, Scene 3 pg. 47-48). Stanley is the type who feels that everything should be done his way. It's either his way or the highway. Blanche and Stanley's drinking problem makes them perceive things differently. When Blanche drinks, she lives in a fantasy world and talks to herself, while Stanley still stays in reality, but becomes emotionally frustrated very easily.
Blanche fantasized about being rich and wealthy and has pretend dinner parties. "How about taking a moonlight swim at the old rock quarry? If anyone's sober enough to drive a car?" (Blanche talking to herself, Scene 10 pg. 129). When Blanch is depressed, she thinks about her late husband and the music that was playing when he killed himself. Stanley, unlike Blanche, stays in reality, but becomes irritated very easily". [She sprays herself with her atomizer; then sprays him with it.
He seizes the atomizer and slams it down on the dresser.] Blanche and Stanley's drinking problem leads to them dealing with things differently, in their own way. Blanche is self-destructive, while Stanley destroys those around him. Blanches self-destructiveness has to do with Stanley. Stanley tells the man Blanche wants to marry about her dark, secret past, and ruins her relationship with him. "I don't think I want to marry you any more... You " re not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother".
(Mitch to Blanche, Scene 9 pg. 115). Also, Stanley comes home drunk and rapes her. "We " ve had this date with each other from the beginning!" (Stanley to Blanche, Scene 11 pg. 180). After that she literally goes crazy.
Stanley destroys those around him by raping Blanche when he is drunk, and hitting his wife Stella when he is drunk. Blanche and Stanley are both destructive in their own ways. This is shared by their mutual drinking problem which causes them to act the way they do. But Blanche Dubois last hope in finding security becomes ruined by her brother in law just because of a few remarks that she made about him. Stanley is the antagonist in this story.