A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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What quotes reveal Stanley's relationship with other characters' wants, desires, abilities, and appearance?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the most revealing quotes that sums up Stanley and his relation to others is found in Scene 8, after the big blow up between Stanley and Blanche. Stella has stepped in to defend her sister and put Stanley in his "place" but Stanley angrily retorts:

When we first met, me and you, you thought I was common. How right you was, baby. I was common as dirt. You showed me the snapshot of the place with the columns. I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it, having them colored lights going! And wasn't we happy together, wasn't it all okay till she showed up here?

Here we see Stanley in both vulnerability and strength. He loves Stella and wants to remind her of the good times they've had, the times before Blanche showed up and Stella copped an attitude about their low-brow life. You hated the empty snobbery of the upper-class, Stanley reminds her. He will not apologize for who and what he is: a honest, rough, guy just trying to make a buck and support his family, one who wants to play a little poker and drink a beer after work. He resents Blanche for her intrusion into their lives. Stanley just wants everything to go back to normal.

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