Misguided Feminist Reaction to A Streetcar Named Desire

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Misguided Feminist Reaction to A Streetcar Named Desire The dramatic climax of A Streetcar Named Desire, clearly illustrates the mastery of author Tennessee Williams. The brilliantly constructed text, with its tragic story and enticing characters, propels the reader to a point in which he becomes emotionally involved in the dynamics of Williams’ world. Unfortunately, many feminists are negatively affected by Williams’ captivating writing style. In turn, feminists have developed an array of very strong opinions regarding the climax, often responding with a very personal and emotive discussion of the issues. Concentrating on the dynamics of each character and his stance during the climax, feminists present an intelligent discussion on the inevitability of the rape and its effect on the characters. Unfortunately, many feminists have a tendency to become focused on the morals of rape, rather than exploring the symbolic nature of rape. Many feminists have also let their emotions and personal values sway their arguments, even to the point where they personally attack Tennessee Williams. However, a correct reading of the climax should focus on the symbolism of the event and the positioning of characters. From this stance, it becomes much clearer why this disturbing climax was essential, especially when considering the shocking conclusion to the play. The feminist’s lack of serious discussion of the necessity of the rape scene is the weak link in their argument. While feminists concede that the character of Blanche is a woman with more than a few “inconsistencies”, their description of Stanley as a "monster" is not justified. Feminists neglect to consider Stanley’s vulnerability as a factor in the rape; but they justify... ... middle of paper ... ... and the rape are archetypes of society, representing the battle between good will and survival, good and evil, class and inhumanity, behind which the driving force is utter desire! Works Cited and Consulted Brownmiller, Susan. Against Our Will. New York: Bantam Books, 1975. Dworkin, Andrea. Intercourse. New York: The Free Press, 1087 Lant, Kathleen Margaret. "A Streetcar Named Misogyny." pp. 225-238 in REDMOND. Redmond, James (Editor). Violence in Drama. Cambridge University Press; 1991. Spoto, Donald. The Kindness of Strangers. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1985. Williams, Edwina Dakin. Remember Me to Tom. St. Louis: Sunrise Publishing Company, 1963. Williams, Tennessee. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc: 1975. Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: Signet. Original copyright 1947.

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