How do the ideas of reality held by Stanley and Stella reflect a battle for whose reality is superior?

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

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In the end, I think that Williams has rendered a vision of "whose reality" between the characters in the drama.  There is a sort of "choose your own conception of reality " that is present.  This is especially so in Stanley and Stella.  Stanley's vision of reality is one where power is the defining element.  It is power that constructs all of reality.  It is part of Stanley's relationship with both sisters and represents his own conception of self.  The "base" nature of Stanley is representative of how he views power and wishes to exert it at all times.  The dominating aspect of Stanley's conception of reality is one in which there is power and only power.  His reality is generated through power and control.  For Stella, her conception of reality is the navigation of the past and present into a vision of the future.  Stella is complex about how reality should be structured, opting for a notion that is synthetic, combining different aspects of one's reality.  Stella seeks to bring convergence to what is offered in Stanley's vision of reality and in Blanche's.  She is one who is practical enough to understand that reality has to be constructed through a sense of negotiation.  In her vision of reality, pragmatism becomes absolute and is the driving force behind how she constructs reality the way that she does. The tension between both visions is where there is a battle waged, one that seems complex by the end of the drama.


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