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How is Stella Kowalski motivated by desire?

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lodaa601 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM via web

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How is Stella Kowalski motivated by desire?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Stella is motivated by desire in a couple of capacities.  On one hand, there is the carnal desire of being married to Stanley.  It is evident that Stella is attracted to this primal and animal sense of magnetism that Stanley possesses:

But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark—that sort of make everything else seem—unimportant.

This represents a physical desire, a type of descent into a carnal oblivion that she receives out of her relationship with her husband.  On another level, perhaps Stella desires a flight from the past.  She has obviously made peace with a post- Belle Reve life and this is something that she has been able to make with Stanley. There might be a part of her that desires this flight from the past, something that Blanche cannot fully embrace.  Finally, I think that Stella desires security and the sense of safety that being with Stanley provides.  Stanley does some fairly terrible things as a husband, and yet Stella does not leave him.  She desires the financial and social security of being with Stanley.  In this, there is a desire for safety and for a traditional setting, something that will always elude Blanche.

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