Illustration of a man and a woman embracing

A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

Start Free Trial

Using text to text, can anyone give me examples of characters who resemble Stanley and provide their reasoning.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Wow! Great question, and I had to give it 5 stars.

Stanley Kowalski is the epitome of misogynism and chauvinism.  He treats and sees women as objects of sex and instant gratification, and he takes his role as a male almost as if it were a rank or a medal given in battle.

Throughout literature, several characters present themselves this way, yet, it would be unfair to compare Stanley to classic literature, since he presents the modern-day issues that are optional for modern writers, but inevitable in classical literature.

One similar modern character is Sammy from "A&P" by Updike. He is a very misogynistic character who describes girls in quite a rude and chauvinistic way such as:

the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs . . . there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose . . . and a tall one, with black hair that hadn’t quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes, and a chin that was too long . . . and then the third one, that wasn’t quite so tall. She was the queen . . . She didn’t look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prima-donna legs . . . She had on a kind of dirty pink – beige maybe, I don’t know – bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down . . . all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim . . . She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face . . . The longer her neck was, the more of her there was”

Stanley refered to Stella as "fatty" when, in fact, she was pregnant. He also openly detested Blanche only because she was trying to pull a role that she could not maintain. He would slap and then have sex with Stella, anD,eventually, he raped Blanche and sent her to a mental institution quite ruthlessly.

Classical lit cannot be avoided, nevertheless from suggesting Torvald AND Krogstad from A Doll's House as similar in a way to Stanley.

Torvald, Nora's husband merely wanted a plaything to keep around the house to satisfy and please him. When he found out that she had done illegal transactions, the amount of insult and degradation he bestowed upon her was significant enough for her to break every single rule of society and leave the house and the children behind: This, even after what she did was a sacrifice to save her husband's life.

The man who she dealt with, Krogstad, was harrasing, impertinent, and evil to her. He was no better than her husband in understanding the reasons behind her needs. At least, in the end, he changed a bit- but the damage placed upon her dignity as a woman had already been done.

I hope this helps!

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team