In scene 4, Blanche lays out her objections to Stanley:

There's something downright bestial about him! . . . He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something sub-human something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something ape-like about him, like one of the pictures I've seen in anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is Stanley Kowalski survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! . . . Maybe he'll strike you or maybe he'll grunt and kiss you!

Remember that the opening scene—in which Stanley throws a packet of meat to Stella—occurs before Blanche comes on stage (so she can’t be referring to that moment) and then provide an explanation of the multiple ironies of this passage.


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The ironic thing about this passage is that Blanche is, in some key ways, more like Stanley than she realizes. She complains that Stanley is motivated by brutal lust: being very blatant with his sexual desires. However, Blanche herself is driven by desires, particularly sexual ones. Remember that she's only living with her sister because she was fired from her teaching job for sleeping with a student.

Blanche did not need to see Stanley throw the meat pack to Stella, because she's already witnessed the way he talks, dresses, and eats. Stanley is not ashamed of his lack of social graces and airs. He takes pride in being "common." And the greatest irony of all is that Blanche is only listing what Stella finds most appealing about Stanley (e.g., his virility, his lack of manners, etc.). Stella did, after all, leave Belle Reve and she chose to live with a man who represents the total opposite of the refined world she came from. As Stanley later states, Stella loved being taken from those...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 653 words.)

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