In scene 2, Stanley mentions the “Napoleonic Code” repeatedly, in reference to his “rights” to his wife’s property; in scene 8, he quotes the Louisiana governor and demagogue Huey Long “‘Every Man is a King!’ And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it!” What do his political heroes say about Stanley, and how does Williams use these references to characterize him?    

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Stanley Kowalski's a domestic tyrant, a thuggish autocrat whose word is law in his household. It's not surprising, then, that he should look to the likes of Napoleon and Huey Long as political inspirations. Although in the case of Long, one could argue that Kowalski's either misunderstood or deliberately distorted his famous slogan of "Every man a king." For what Long meant by this was that there should be a more equitable distribution of wealth in society. Strongly influenced by the ideals of the New Deal, Long put forward radical policies designed to make his slogan—and song—a reality.

However, Kowalski's interpretation is somewhat different. For him "Every man a king" means that every man is lord and master in his own home, and that what he says, goes. He's not so much interested in "castles for all" (to paraphrase a line from the song) as being king of his own little castle, where everyone else exists to serve his needs.

As for the Napoleonic Code, it corresponds closely with...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 671 words.)

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