How do you think that Stella shows herself to be a loving and loyal wife, as well as a weak woman, easily led and naive?
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Both descriptions apply to Stella fairly accurately. Stella is loyal and loving, both as wife and sister. She is constantly poised between both her husband and her sister, desperately trying to please both and not isolate either. She sides with her husband, in the end, but recognizes her own folly at the committing of her sister and expresses regret at her actions, reflected by her tears and lack of confidence at what is happening at the end of the drama. She is a loyal wife, strongly believing the idea that whatever problems might exist between she and her husband, they can be worked through. Her loyalty is a reflection of her practicality, and what Blanche herself would term a "beautiful self- control." At the same time, she does show herself to be a bit naive in the belief that she, fundamentally through her permissiveness to Stanley, can make this relationship work. She believes that her allowance of Stanley's behavior, physical abuse, as well as his basic demeanor, will create a marriage that can endure difficulty. Somehow, she convinces herself of this. I don't see her as weak, but rather as practical enough to understand that her options are not entirely wide open, now with child in tow. Rather, she has to capitulate to the idea of making this marriage work and it is in this point where she comes across as someone who lacks a certain amount of strength. Stella is a character who does possess strength, internal fortitude, but also does possess a traits that could be seen as someone who is able to be easily led by Stanley. Like so many of Williams' characters, it is important to be able to allow Stella's fullness of character to emerge without putting her in too restrictive a box. She is complex, and like all complex beings, she has moments where she demonstrates a certain fluidity in character that moves between weakness, strength, loyalty, and partisanship. In this respect, Stella is no different than most people in the real world.
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