What is the impact of the climax in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'?

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

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I would say that from a realist point of view, the impact of the climax is that Stanley wins.  The boorish behavior of Stanley, the way in which he manipulates Stella, and the fact that he ended up raping Blanche are not really punished through the ending of the play.  I think that one can see that in Stella's admission of a potential mistake, maybe he is exposed for the fraud he is, but when Blanche is institutionalized, the realists see an authentication that there is no moral structure or righteous order within the world.  The realist ending of the play helps to reinforce that Blanche might have been speaking for more than herself when she attempts to articulate a condition of a world that is no longer in existence, something that has passed into the portals of time.  Similar to her childhood in the South, the world in which justice and fairness exists, where bonds of family and character reign are gone.  The ending brings this to light.